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Cambridge County Geographies 






Rector, Burgh and County High School, Peebles 

With Maps, Diagrams and Illustrations 

Cambridge : 

at the University Press 







1. County and Shire. The Origin of Peebles and Selkirk i 

2. General Characteristics ...... 3 

3. Size. Shape. Boundaries ..... 6 

4. Surface and General Features ..... 9 

5. Watershed. Rivers. Lochs . . . . .13 

6. Geology . . . . . . . . 23 

7. Natural History . . . . . . .34 

8. Climate and Rainfall 4 2 

9. People Race, Language, Population . . .48 

10. Agriculture . . . . . ." . .52 

11. The Manufacture of Wool ..... 60 

12. Minerals . . . . . . . .65 

13. Fishing ......... 69 

14. History of the Counties . . . . . .72 

15. Antiquities Pre-historic, British, Roman . . 77 



1 6. Architecture (a) Ecclesiastical . . 85 

17. Architecture (b) Military: Castles and Peels . 91 

1 8. Architecture (c) Domestic ... 101 

19. Communications Past and Present. . 111 

20. Administration and Divisions . . .118 

21 The Roll of Honour . . .122 

22 The Chief Towns and Villages . '37 


Peebles from the West ....... 2 

Selkirk from the North-West ...... 4 

Yarrow Kirk and Manse ...... 8 

Galashiels . ... . . . . . .12 

Talla Linns . . . . . . . . .16 

Ettrick Pen . . . . . . . . -19 

Entrance to St Mary's Loch . . . . . .21 

St Mary's Loch . . . . . . . .21 

Geological Section through Southern Uplands. . . 26 
Hills of Synclinal Formation ...... 26 

Anticlines and Synclines . . . . . . .28 

Graptolites from the Hartfell Shales, Mount Benger Burn 29 
Graptolite (Monograptus Sedgiuicki) from Grieston Quarry, 

Peeblesshire . . . . . . .31 

Graptolites (Monograptus Griestonensis) from Grieston Quarry 3 1 
Scots Pine . . . . . . . . -37 

i Kingfisher, 2 Little Auk, 3, 4 Stormy Petrels . . 40 
Curves showing the comparative growth of the populations 

of Peebles, Selkirk, Berwick and Roxburgh Shires . 5 1 
Sheep-shearing at Henderland Farm, Megget ... 56 
Oldest Larch in Scotland . . . . . .59 

Power Looms . . . . . . . -63 



Warping Machines. ....... 63 

Technical College, Galashiels ...... 64 

St Ronan's Well, Innerleithen 68 

Bend on the Tweed near Yair ..... 70 
Flodden Memorial, Selkirk ...... 73 

Catrail Fort at Rink 78 

Lyne Roman Camp . . . . . . .83 

Roman Coin found at Bellanrig in Manor, 1910 . . 84 
Tower of St Andrew's, Peebles, before restoration . 86 
Parish Church, Stobo ....... 89 

Neidpath Castle, Peebles ....... 93 

Newark Tower ........ 94 

Elibank Castle . . . . . . . -97 

" Yett " at Barns Tower . . . . . .100 

Fairnilee House . . . . . . . .103 

Plan of Traquair House. . . . . . .104 

Traquair House . . . . . . . .106 

Stobo Castle . . . . . . . . .107 

Ashiesteel House . . . . . . . .108 

Bowhill, Selkirk . . . . . . . .109 

Cacra Bank, Ettrick . . . . . . .112 

Bridge at Ettrick Bridge End . . . . .116 

Old stone with Harden's crest . . . . .117 

Seal of the Royal Burgh of Peebles, Dec. 15, 1473 . 121 
Mungo Park . . . . . . . . .127 

Hogg's Monument at St Mary's Loch . . . .130 

Andrew Lang. ........ 133 

Professor George Lawson . . . . . -135 

Queensberry Lodging . . . . . . .139 

Flodden Flag . . . . . . . . .144 

Diagrams . . . . . . . . .146 




Peebles and Selkirk, Physical .... Front Cover 

Geological . . . Back Cover 

Rainfall Map of Scotland ...... 47 

Line of the Catrail through Selkirkshire . . .81 
Peel Towers of Peebles and Selkirk Shires ... 99 
The Thief's Road 114 

The illustrations on pp. 2, 12, 93 and 107 are from photo- 
graphs by Messrs J. Valentine and Sons; those on pp. 4, 8, 
19, 21 (St Mary's Loch), 40, 56, 73, 78, 94, 109, 112, 1 16, 127, 
130, 135, and 144 are from photographs (a number of which'were 
specially taken for this book) by Mr A. R. Edwards, Selkirk ; 
those on pp. 21 (Entrance to St Mary's Loch) and 70 are from 
photographs by Mr Colledge, Innerleithen ; those on pp. 29 and 
31 from photographs, taken by Mr Colledge, of fossils lent by 
Mr George Storie, a former pupil of the author; those on pp. 37 
and 59 from photographs by Mr J. Ward, Peebles. 

Thanks are due to the Tweeddale Society, through Mr J. 
Walter Buchan, for the use of blocks from which the illustra- 
tions on pp. 16, 97, 103 and 108 are reproduced; to Dr John 
Bartholomew, Geographical Institute, Edinburgh, for permission 
to reproduce the illustration (adapted) on p. 26 (fig. i) ; to 
Messrs Ballantyne and Co., Peebles, for permission to reproduce 
those on p. 63 ; to the Directors of the South of Scotland Technical 
College, Galashiels, through Dr Oliver, for the use of the block 
for the illustration on p. 64 ; to Messrs R. Smail and Sons, 
Innerleithen, for permission to reproduce those on pp. 68 and 
1 06 ; to Mr T. Craig Brown, Selkirk, for permission to reproduce 
the map on p. 8 1 and the illustration on p. 1 1 7 ; to the Society 
of Antiquaries of Scotland to reproduce the plan on p. 83 ; to 


Dr C. B. Gunn, Peebles, for the use of the blocks for those on 
pp. 84, 86, 89 and 121 ; to Mr Ross for permission to reproduce 
from M c Gibbon and Ross' Castellated Architecture of Scotland the 
plan on p. 104; to Mrs Andrew Lang for kindly supplying 
the portrait on p. 133, and to Mr Allan Smyth of the Peeblessbire 
Advertiser for the use of the block for the illustration on p. 139. 
The maps on pp. 99 and 114 and the sketches on p. too were 
made by J. Connel Pringle, who also adapted that on p. 26 (fig. i). 
For useful information and suggestions the author desires to 
express his obligations to : Lord Glenconner of Glen ; Mr T. 
Craig Brown, Selkirk ; Mr James Sanderson, Woodlands, 
Galashiels ; Dr Oliver, Galashiels ; Mr J. Ramsay, Board of 
Agriculture for Scotland ; Mr Watt, Scottish Meteorological 
Society ; Messrs Leslie and Reid, of Edinburgh and District 
Water Trust; the Rev. Wm. M c Connachie, Lander; Mr G. 
Constable, Traquair; Mr J. Ramsay Smith, Peebles; the late 
Mr R. S. Anderson, Peebles; Mr Bartie, Selkirk; Dr C. B. 
Gunn, Peebles ; Mr Herbertson, Galashiels ; Mr M. Ritchie, 
High School, Peebles ; Messrs W. and T. Paterson, Crookston, 
Peebles ; Mr Geo. Wilkie, Mr Wm. Sanderson, Mr W. Johnstone, 
Peebles, and others. 


In other volumes of the series dealing with two counties, 
e.g. Argyllshire and Buteshire, each county is treated separately. 
This method, however, was found less suitable in the case of 
Peebles and Selkirk, which have been treated for the most part 
as a single area. 

i. County and Shire. The Origin of 
Peebles and Selkirk. 

The word shire is of Old English origin and meant 
office, charge, administration. The Norman Conquest 
introduced the word county through French from the 
Latin comitatus^ which in mediaeval documents designates 
the shire. County is the district ruled by a count, the 
king's comes, the equivalent of the older English term earl. 
This system of local administration entered Scotland as 
part of the Anglo-Norman influence that strongly affected 
our country after the year noo. Our shires differ in 
origin, and arise from a combination of causes geogra- 
phical, political and ecclesiastical. 

The first known sheriff of Selkirk was Andrew de 
Synton appointed by William the Lyon (1165-1214); 
and there were sheriffs of Peebles in the same reign. In 
1286 Peebles had two sheriffs, one holding his courts at 
Traquair, the other at Peebles the two courts being 
amalgamated about the year 1304. In Alexander II's 
reign Gilbert Fraser was sheriff of Traquair, while in 
the reign of Alexander III Sir Simon Fraser was sheriff 
of Peebles and keeper of the forests of Selkirk and 

p. P. s. i 


But these counties were more familiarly known by 
other names. In State Documents Peebles was frequently 
called Tweeddale (Tuedal), and Selkirk, Ettrick Forest or 
the Forest. Even in Blaeu's Atlas (1654) the inscription 
on the map of the two counties is : " Twee-Dail with 
the Sherifdome of Ettrick Forest, called also Selkirk." 

Peebles from the West 

Ettrick Forest sometimes, and presumably later, Selkirk 
Forest was, however, much more extensive than the 
present Selkirkshire. 

The name Peebles, older form Peblis, is generally 
regarded as derived from the British word pebyll, tents, 
place of tents. Selkirk, old spelling Scheleschirche, is taken 
to mean the kirk of the shieling. 


No doubt the counties came into existence as con- 
venient districts determined mainly by natural conditions 
as rivers, mountains, forests, for the administration of 
local and national affairs. Peebles corresponded to the 
Vale of the Tweed from the source of the river till it 
approaches the region of its first large tributary, the 
Ettrick from the Forest, the watershed between the 
Tweed and the Ettrick forming a natural boundary. 
The Shire of the Forest was a distinctive area at first 
marked out and set aside as a hunting preserve for the 
Scottish kings. As political and social conditions have 
changed, these counties have also changed in shape and 
to some extent in size. 

2. General Characteristics. 

Peebles and Selkirk are entirely inland counties ; but 
they are not so cut off from the sea as not to be affected 
by the outer world and as not to affect it. No region on 
the face of the earth, not even Greece excepted, has been 
more " besung " than the Border Ballad district embraced 
in Selkirkshire. Burns says " Yarrow and Tweed to 
monie a tune owre Scotland rings " and the poetry of the 
district is without doubt its chief claim to distinction. 
The Tweed or woollen industry has rendered these 
counties no less famous in the sphere of commerce. 

It is not necessary to assume that spiritual and mental 
characteristics are entirely due to material causes. If the 
people of the Forest and of the Uplands of Peebles and 


Selkirk were brave and romantic it does not follow that it 
was the Forest and the Uplands that made them so. It 
was probably an initial endowment of the spirit of adven- 
ture and love of freedom that drove many of the early 
inhabitants into these fastnesses where even the king as 
well as foreign foes hesitated to intrude. But the natural 
conditions of the Forest had undoubtedly a great influence 
on the thoughts, emotions and occupations of its inhabi- 

Selkirk from the North-West 

tants the conditions : (i) that the counties belong to 
the Southern Uplands, a district noted for its suitability as 
a pastoral region and for its picturesque beauty ; (2) that 
they are included in the district of the middle marches 
over which the tide of war ebbed and flowed for centuries. 
It was natural that a region in which King James IV 
at one time had as many as 10,000 sheep and from which 
much wool was exported to Flanders should have woollen 


factories as at Galashiels, Selkirk and Peebles. But besides 
the sheep there were cattle in the meadows, and beasts in 
the Forest, whence oak bark was obtained for tanning. 
So that there was also leather in abundance and up to the 
end of the eighteenth century Selkirk was more famous 
for its shoe-making than Galashiels for its woollen manu- 

Although the counties took more than their share in 
the extension and improvement of agriculture in the 
eighteenth century, yet owing to the hilly nature of the 
region and the consequent thinness of the soil, the coun- 
ties, except in the north-west of Peeblesshire,have remained 
chiefly pastoral. The present outstanding features of the 
district therefore are sheep-farming and woollen manufac- 
tures. But at the time when planting became fashionable 
in Scotland, in no part of the country did so much planting 
of timber take place, as in the counties of Selkirk and 
Peebles. Indeed, previous to the extension of railway 
lines into the counties it was considered that this planting 
had been overdone. In the vicinity of the county towns 
and in such districts as Bowhill, in Selkirkshire, and 
Cademuir Hill, in Peeblesshire, a great change has been 
effected in the appearance of the landscape by the planting 
of woods and forests, mainly pine. At the time referred 
to numerous estates particularly in Peeblesshire were pur- 
chased by wealthy merchants and professional men and 
vast sums of money expended on laying out policies, on 
building, draining and planting. One estate in particular, 
the property of the Earl of Islay, afterwards the third 
Duke of Argyll, obtained its name, "The Whim," in 


token of the excessive outlay in converting a wild morass 
into a pleasure ground. From its romantic associations, 
picturesque attractions, and its proximity to Glasgow and 
Edinburgh, wealthy proprietors have helped to make 
Peeblesshire the county with the highest valuation (12*5) 
per head of the population in Scotland. Selkirkshire, 
however, has remained chiefly in the hands of one or two 
of the great nobles the Buccleuchs and the Napiers ; 
and consequently the ratio of its valuation (6*5) to its 
population has not increased to the same extent. 

3. Size. Shape. Boundaries. 

The area of Peeblesshire is 222,240 acres of land and 
1048 acres of water. Selkirkshire has 170,793 acres of 
land and 1796 acres of water, and is therefore about three- 
quarters the size of Peebles. Peebles could be contained in 
Inverness more than twelve times, and could itself contain 
Clackmannan more than six times. It comprehends one 
eighty-seventh part of the land and water of Scotland. 

Peeblesshire is roughly triangular in form. The 
longest side stretches from Borestone in the north of the 
parish of Linton to the Great Hill where the Coreburn 
takes its rise, on the southern boundary between the 
parishes of Tweedsmuir and Moffat. A line drawn 
through Great Hill and Dollar Law to Thorn ilee in a 
north-easterly direction marks the direction of the south- 
eastern boundary between the two counties. The third 
and shortest side of the triangle runs north-west from 


Thornilee to Borestone. The Tweed basin with its 
tributaries fills up this triangular area, the sides of which 
converge towards its south-eastern apex. 

On the west Peebles marches with Lanark, on the 
north with Midlothian, on the south with Dumfries, and 
on the south-east with Selkirk. 

With the exception of the portion which projects in a 
south-westerly direction into Dumfriesshire, the outline of 
the county of Selkirk may be described as an ellipse or 
oval of irregular outline, with its main axis lying north- 
east and south-west. The greatest length along the main 
axis from Capell Fell to Galashiels is twenty-seven miles. 
The greatest breadth from Dear Heights in the north of 
the Caddon division of the county to Hangingshaw Hill 
north of the Ale Water is about the same. 

Selkirk marches with Peebles on the north-west, with 
Dumfries on the south-west, with Roxburgh along the 
eastern curve, and with Midlothian on the north. 

Before 1892, when the Boundary Commission for 
Scotland was appointed, several detached portions of the 
one county lay within the other. The parish of Lyne in 
Peeblesshire had previously been joined with that of 
Megget in Selkirkshire to form one parish, although 
separated each from the other by the whole length of 
Manor Vale and parish, a distance of fully fourteen miles. 
The Commissioners ordered that Megget should form part 
of the parish of Yarrow in the county of Selkirk. Similarly 
the portions of the parishes of Peebles and Innerleithen, 
which used to be in the county of Selkirk, are now in the 
county of Peebles. A detached portion of Yarrow parish, 


about 2166 acres, surrounded by the parishes of Peebles, 
Innerleithen and Traquair, was united to Traquair parish 
(which the Yarrow portion had divided into two) in the 
county of Peebles. The parish of Culter no longer exists. 
From 1 80 1 to 1851 it was returned as wholly in Lanark ; 
from 1851 to 1891 part of it was returned in Peebles- 
shire. In 1891 this portion was transferred to the parish 
of Broughton, Glenholm and Kilbucho. 

Yarrow Kirk and Manse 

The Commission had also to deal with parishes partly 
in Selkirk and partly in Roxburgh and Midlothian. 
Roberton parish in the east, which used to be partly 
included in Selkirk, is now entirely within the county of 
Roxburgh. Portions of the parishes of Ashkirk, Selkirk 
and Galashiels, partly in Selkirk and partly in Roxburgh, 
were transferred to the county of Selkirk. The large and 


growing town of Galashiels close to the borders of Rox- 
burgh and Selkirk had to extend its boundaries eastwards ; 
and the Commissioners decreed that the portion of Melrose 
parish in the county of Selkirk should become part of the 
parish of Galashiels and of the county of Selkirk. Still 
later, in 1908, another portion of Melrose parish was 
annexed to the burgh of Galashiels for drainage purposes, 
and in 1911 annexed to the parish of Galashiels. 

The anomalies were not, however, all removed. The 
parish of Stow is situated partly in the county of Edinburgh 
and partly in the county of Selkirk. The Selkirkshire 
portion, known as Caddonfoot, is of large area with a 
population almost wholly agricultural ; and as there were 
reasons against bringing Edinburgh down to the Tweed, 
as well as against making Caddonfoot part of Galashiels, 
this portion of Selkirkshire was kept within the parish of 
Stow. In 1898, however, by order of the Secretary for 
Scotland, it was formed into the parish of Caddonfoot in 
the county of Selkirk together with portions of the parishes 
of Selkirk, Galashiels and Yarrow. 

These changes do not affect the ecclesiastical parishes. 

4. Surface and General Features. 

The part of southern Scotland known geographically 
as the Southern Uplands, a region now cut and carved 
into valleys and watersheds, was formerly a lofty tableland. 
A line drawn through Penicuik, Galashiels and Melrose, 
where the Tweed leaves the Uplands and enters the plain, 


and another line from the Moffat hills to Melrose along 
the ridge separating the Ettrick from the Teviot, will 
practically cut off that portion of the Uplands which 
contains the counties of Peebles and Selkirk. The whole 
of this portion is filled with hills the tops of which are 
flattened or rounded, the sides smooth, and (except in the 
highest parts, where peat and heath are frequently found) 
covered with grass, crags and rocks being rare. This 
region is in the main pastoral and has hardly any culti- 
vated ground except along the haughs or on the lower 
slopes of the hills. The most extensive areas of hill peat 
are found on the Moorfoots on the high ground over- 
looking the Leithen water and also on the Manor hills to 
the south-west. These uplands are bare of any natural 
wood, but in the lower reaches of the Tweed and its 
longer tributaries, many of the hills are clothed to their 
summits with woods and plantations, most of them planted 
within the last hundred and fifty years. The district 
south of the Tweed including all Selkirk and more, was 
at one time the Forest of Ettrick. 

Starting from the central mass of the Uplands in 
which rise the Tweed, the Annan and the Clyde, the 
trend of the valleys, and, therefore, of the ridges between 
them, is towards the north-east, till we come to the bank 
of the Tweed, when we are met with ridges on the north 
side with a trend to the south-east. The former valleys 
are called longitudinal, because in a line with the strike 
of the strata, and the other transverse, because at right 
angles to the strike. Examples of longitudinal valleys 
are : Ale, Ettrick, Yarrow, Holms, Tweed (to Broughton), 


Manor, Quair ; of transverse valleys : Biggar, Lyne, 
Eddleston, Leithen, Walkerburn and Gala. These ridges 
and rounded masses approach so near and interfold and 
overlap on each bank so closely that, apart from other 
proofs, it is apparent that the whole region has at one 
time been a plateau which the Tweed and its tributaries 
with other agencies have scoured and grooved and rubbed 
down into what resembles a rounded, billowy ocean. 

The only comparatively level part within the two 
counties is the district towards the north, stretching 
between the Moorfoots and the Pentlands from a low 
watershed, sloping away on the one side towards the 
shores of the Firth, and, on the other, towards the 
south-west into the Clyde valley. A flattish range of 
hills between Eddleston and Lyne waters divides this vale 
in two, the western portion running north-east and south- 
west between the Pentlands and the north-western edge 
of the Southern Uplands. This plain varies in breadth 
from four miles at Auchencorth in Midlothian to less 
than one hundred yards in places between Romanno 
Bridge and Skirling. The surface is arable, well cultivated 
and wooded, with stretches of moorland towards the 

A line from Leadburn through Romanno, Skirling, 
and Culter separates these two distinctly different regions, 
the one lowland and arable, the other upland and pastoral. 
This line coincides with a great " fault " between two 
different geological formations. 

Six sections may be distinctly marked out in this 
upland region. The first is Selkirkshire, with its parallel 



ridges lying north-east and south-west from the high 
central mass culminating in Capel Fell and Ettrick Pen 
and forming the watersheds between the Tweed and the 
Yarrow, Yarrow and Ettrick, Ettrick and Teviot. Each 
of these valleys has its south-western end wild, mountainous 
and treeless ; its middle region pastoral, with grassy or 
heathery rounded hills and occasional clumps of dark pines 


near the farm houses ; its lower end a region of wood 
and hill, pasture and arable land. The second section is 
bounded by the ridge between Peebles and Selkirk on the 
south and the Tweed on the west and north from its 
source to Galashiels. This area is occupied by the 
parallel masses separating Tweed and Manor, Manor and 
Quair, and other lesser streams till Ettrick meets Tweed. 
Here, as before, the valleys have the three-fold character of 


wilderness ; pastoral ; mixed pastoral, woodland and arable. 
Thirdly, there is the triangle bounded by the Eddleston 
Water, the Tweed, and the boundary line through the 
Moorfoots a high region, several summits being over 
2000 feet. Intersected by the transverse valleys of the 
Leithen and the Walkerburn, it consists mainly of pasture 
and moorland. In the extreme north above Portmore 
Loch the ground is low and forms part of the valley 
between the Moorfoots and the Pentlands. Round Port- 
more the ground in the lower reaches near Eddleston is 
well wooded. The fourth section, mainly pastoral, is an 
undulating region, the chief heights being the Meldons 
between the Eddleston Water and the Lyne. The fifth 
division consists of the heights behind Stoboand Broughton, 
bounded on the north by the Tarth and on the west by 
the Broughton Burn. Beyond that again is the last 
section, the agricultural region stretching from Skirling, 
Romanno and Leadburn to West Linton and merging 
into the moorland towards the Pentlands on the north- 

5. Watershed. Rivers. Lochs. 

The Southern Uplands is a land of waters and water- 
sheds. " A hill, a road, a river " was an English traveller's 
terse description in the eighteenth century. Although 
now in many parts woods and forests cover the slopes of 
the hills and fringe its roads and rivers, hills and rivers 
still remain its prominent features. 


The region was at one time an undulating plateau 
from whose higher parts streams flowed in all directions. 
The Tweed, therefore, in a real physical sense has made 
these hills ; and not only made them, but also established 
them ; for, by the Tweed along with other sub-aerial 
influences they have been made into hills of "stable 
equilibrium." Without the river, then, the region would 
be meaningless not only to those who take delight in its 
beauty and in its historical associations, but also to those 
who study its physical configuration. 

The general slope of the plateau is towards the south- 
east. Hence the Tweed in its course from Peebles to 
Berwick, with its tributaries the Lyne, the Eddleston, 
the Leithen and the Gala, flows to the south-east. As the 
course of these rivers was originally determined by the 
slope of the ground they are called consequent, from which 
we infer that they are the oldest rivers of the country. 
This agrees with the fact that in former geological days, 
a great river crossed the country from the region of Loch 
Fyne to the North Sea, by the present Clyde Valley, 
and by the present Tweed Valley, which it entered 
near Biggar. Various changes occurred, which ultimately 
resulted in the Clyde and the Tweed as we know them. 
On the other hand, the Tweed from Tweedsmuir to 
Drummelzier, and the tributaries, the Holms Water, the 
Yarrow, the Ettrick, all flowing north-east, must have 
been formed subsequently to the time when the course of 
the main rivers was settled probably after the great ice 
age. Hence such rivers are called subsequent. 

The Tweed (103 m.) rises at Tweedswell, 1250 feet 


above sea-level. After a north-easterly direction as far 
as Peebles it turns east-by-south through Peebles and 
Selkirk till it meets the Ettrick ; then turning north, it 
receives the Gala and a little below Galafoot enters the 
county of Roxburgh. Its total course through Peebles- 
shire, from Tweedswell to Scrogbank, is 40 miles, and 
through Selkirkshire from Scrogbank to the railway bridge, 
between Galashiels and Melrose, 10 miles. In Tweeds- 
muir the only tributary of any size is the Holms Water, 
which unites with the Biggar Water and the Broughton 
Burn. The hills in the south-west of Peeblesshire have 
their highest summits lying to the east and north of 
Tweedswell, on the boundary line between Peebles, 
Dumfries and Selkirk. These are Hart Fell (2651), 
Loch Craighead (2625), Broad Law (2723), and Dunlaw 
(2584). It is in these hills that the Tweed receives such 
streams as the Fruid, the Talla (the catchment area 
of Talla Reservoir) and the Stanhope. After a course 
of 15 miles it enters, below Rachan, the haughlands of 
Drummelzier, the widest part of the Tweed valley above 
Melrose. Into this plain the valleys of Biggar and 
Broughton converge from the west. Near Drummelzier 
church the Tweed is 'joined by the Powsail Burn from 
Merlindale. The rhyme, attributed to Thomas of 

" When Tweed and Powsail meet at Merlin's grave, 
England and Scotland shall one monarch have," 

is said to have been fulfilled on the day that James VI 
became James I of England. 

Talla Linns 


Eastwards, beyond Dawyck and Stobo with their 
beautiful woods, the Tweed receives the Lyne from the 
north-west of the county. More than a mile further on 
it meets the Manor Water, with a course almost parallel 
to that of the Tweed, the heights between the two streams 
comprising Dollar Law, Pykestone, and the Scrape. The 
river has now arrived at the picturesque pass of Neidpath, 
through which it joyously forces its way above the town of 
Peebles (see page 2). Here it is joined on the north bank 
by the Eddleston Water, which flows almost due south 
from Leadburn heights through a beautiful upland valley. 
Haystoun valley to the east and south of Peebles, through 
which flows Haystoun Burn, shows evidence of having 
once formed the old bed of the river, which flowed from 
a large lake stretching beyond Neidpath and Cademuir, 
well up towards Drummelzier. Once the water at 
Neidpath had worn down the shaly rock sufficiently to 
drain the lake, the course in the Haystoun valley gradually 
shrank from one lake with a river current through it to a 
series of small lakes joined by a narrow stream. These 
lakes existed up to 1823, when they were drained and the 
cutting exposed the bottom of the old lake. 

At Peebles the river has fallen 800 feet. Between 
Peebles and Innerleithen on the north and Traquair on 
the south bank, the river winds through a beautiful valley 
diversified with gently sloping and interfolding hills, 
natural forest, wooded parks, green haughs with glimpses 
of cattle cooling their limbs at summer noon in shaded 
pools, of ancient peel towers perched on rocky slopes, or 
of modern mansions gleaming through the trees. Near 

p. P. s. 2 


Traquair House the Tweed was diverted northwards for 
a distance of two miles from its old course. This part of 
the river used to be known as the " New Water." The 
Quair, which here joins the Tweed on the south bank, 
small as it is, is one of the historic streams of Scotland. 
It runs parallel to Manor and in its romantic valley stand 
the church of Traquair, and the mansion house of the 
Glen. Haifa mile further on, the Tweed is joined by the 
Leithen Water flowing down a steep pastoral valley from 
the Moorfoot Hills. 

About one mile west of Elibank Castle the Tweed 
becomes the boundary between the counties, and half a 
mile below Thornilee station it enters the parish of 
Caddonfoot in Selkirkshire. Nearly three miles to the 
south-east it passes Ashestiel, opposite which the highroad 
strikes over the hill to Clovenfords. South of Clovenfords 
the Caddon Water enters the Tweed at Caddonfoot. 
Neidpath hill on the opposite bank turns the current to 
the south towards Yair House, where the river rushes 
over a series of rocky boulders called " Yair Trows." 
Here Sir Walter Scott used to " leister " salmon. The 
Tweed is now joined by the Yair Burn. On the left 
bank a little further on stands Fairnilee, and below 
Sunderland Hall the Ettrick from Selkirk, the largest 
tributary, enters on the south bank. Then passing 
Abbotsford and receiving the Gala from the Moorfoots, 
half a mile beyond Galafoot, the Tweed enters Roxburgh, 
where it finally leaves the Southern Uplands for the wide 
plain between the Cheviots and the Lammermuirs. 

The Ettrick (30 miles) rises in Ettrick Pen. Its 



valley is larger and wider than Yarrow's, and, in its 
upper reaches, wilder and more picturesque. Only a few 
of its numerous tributaries can be noted. On the right 
is the Tima, from Eskdalemuir ; on the left the Kirkburn 
and the Scabscleuch, with a road over to Yarrow. Further 
down is the Rankleburn with the Buccleuchs, Easter and 
Wester, whence the family took their title. On the north 

Ettrick Pen 

is Tushielaw Tower, home of Adam the Reiver. Three 
miles on Ettrick receives Gilmanscleuch Burn on the left, 
and then the Dodhead Burn, scene of Jamie Telfer's 
" Fair Dodhead," on the right. Northwards through 
Ettrick Shaws the scenery is picturesque, Ettrick rushing 
through thick plantations over its rocky bed till Ettrick 
Bridge End is reached and the old bridge of Wat o'Harden. 



On the right is Oakwood Tower, on the left Bowhill, 
where now Ettrick sweeps with opposing curve to meet 
Yarrow round the Carterhaugh, scene of " Young 
Tamlane." Thence northwards Ettrick passes Lindean 
and enters Tweed. 

The Yarrow, rising near Birkhill, flows through the 
Loch o' the Lowes and St Mary's Loch, into which also 
flows the Megget. On the shores of the loch are Tibbie 
Shiel's Inn, the Rodono Hotel and, near the high road, 
Perys Cockburn's Grave. Further down the valley are 
St Mary's Chapel, Dryhope Tower, Blackhouse Tower 
all three famous in tragic ballad. Still further on, the 
Gordon Arms, Mount Benger, Yarrow Manse, " the 
Dowie Dens," are passed, till Hangingshaw with its noble 
trees, Broadmeadows, once the desire of Walter Scott's 
heart, Bowhill and Philiphaugh, all beautifully wooded, 
proudly welcome Yarrow home as it ends its course in 
Ettrick, east of Carterhaugh. 

St Mary's Loch and the Loch o' the Lowes, originally 
one, stretch along the valley of the Yarrow for about two- 
thirds of their length. The Oxcleugh Burn and the 
Whitehope Burn have pushed their deltas out from the 
shore until they have eventually cut the loch into two 
parts, and raised the water level of the upper part 
(the Loch o' the Lowes) so that it drains across the 
lowest part of the encroaching delta to the lower sheet of 
water (St Mary's). The Megget is also extending its 
delta towards the shore below Bowerhope hill, the distance 
between the two shores being now only a quarter of a 
mile. In time, therefore, there will be three lochs 

Entrance to St Mary's Loch 

St Mary's Loch 

(Delta formation at Cappercleuch] 


instead of two. The lochs are remarkably free from 

vegetation : 

" nor fen nor sedge 
Pollute the pure lake's crystal edge, 
Abrupt and sheer the mountains sink 
At once upon the level brink." 

The tableland between Ettrick and Teviot has a chain 
of small lakes representing evidently an ancient river bed. 
Some of them contain deposits of shell marl. These are 
Kingside Loch, between Selkirk and Roxburgh ; Crooked 
Loch, a mile further east ; Clearburn Loch ; Hellmuir 
Loch ; Shaws Lochs (Upper and Under) ; Alemuir Loch. 
Another row of lochs parallel with these extends for a 
distance of six or seven miles through Ashkirk, north- 
wards to Selkirk Shielswood Loch, Essenside Loch, 
Headshaw Loch, and the Haining Loch. The Haining 
Loch is an example of a loch tending to disappear through 
the growth of vegetation. A fresh-water weed, not met 
with in any other British lake, was discolouring the loch 
and threatening to fill it up. In 1911 an attempt was 
made to kill the weed by a solution of sulphate of copper, 
and so far the experiment has been successful. Cauldshiels 
Loch, three-eighths of a mile long, one-eighth of a mile 
wide, 80 feet deep and 780 feet above sea-level, is situated 
near the boundary line between Selkirk and Roxburgh, 
with Abbotsford Estate on one of its sides. 

The lochs in Peeblesshire are neither so numerous nor 
so large as those in Selkirkshire. Gameshope Loch, in the 
very heart of the Peeblesshire wilds, is the highest sheet 
of water in the south of Scotland, being between 1750 


and 2OOO feet above sea-level. Talla Reservoir is an 
artificial barrier loch, forming one of the Edinburgh and 
District supplies. The surface area of the Reservoir when 
full is 300 acres ; the daily quantity of water available is 
ten million gallons. Slipperfield Loch, near Broomlee 
station, i^ miles in circumference and 845 feet above 
sea-level, is an example of a lake formed in the upper or 
stratified drift common in the hills between Linton and 
Dolphinton, where sand and gravel undulate into hum- 
mocky and conical forms and sometimes, as here, enclose 
pools of water. Portmore Loch, 1000 feet above sea- 
level, is surrounded by the beautiful woods of Portmore. 
The North Esk Reservoir, on the boundary between 
Midlothian and Peebles, and about one mile north of 
Carlops, supplies Edinburgh and District with water. 

6. Geology. 

Geology is the science that deals with the solid crust 
of the earth ; in other words, with the rocks. By rocks, 
however, the geologist means loose sand and soft clay as 
well as the hardest granite. Rocks are divided into two 
great classes igneous and sedimentary. Igneous rocks 
have resulted from the cooling and solidifying of molten 
matter, whether rushing forth as lava from a volcano, or, 
like granite forced into and between other rocks that 
lie below the surface. Sometimes pre-existing rocks 
waste away under the influence of natural agents as 
frost and rain. When the waste is carried by running 


water and deposited in a lake or a sea in the form of 
sediment, one kind of sedimentary rock may be formed 
often termed aqueous. Other sedimentary rocks are 
accumulations of blown sand : others are of chemical 
origin, like stalactites : others, as coal and coral, originate 
in the decay of vegetable and animal life. For con- 
venience, a third class of rocks has been made. Heat, 
or pressure, or both combined, may so transform rocks 
that their original character is completely lost. Such 
rocks, of which marble is an example, are called meta- 

The crust of the earth, in cooling, has contracted into 
ridges and hollows. The ridges have been worn off and 
sometimes turned over. Hence it is possible to examine 
thousands of feet of the earth's crust from its upturned 
edges. When one system of rock is laid down regularly 
and continuously upon another the two systems are said to 
be conformable. But if the rocks of the underlying system 
have been elevated and tilted, or if its surface has been 
worn away before the younger system has been deposited 
upon it, the two systems are said to be unconformable. 
From the order of the strata, from their conformity or 
nonconformity, and from the characteristic fossils belong- 
ing to the various divisions and sub-divisions, we learn 
that the rocks of Peebles- and Selkirkshires belong to 
the Palaeozoic or Primary group of rocks, that they are 
younger than the Cambrian, and older than the Old Red 
Sandstone and than the Coal Measures of the same group. 

When a section of the earth's crust sinks down in 
a gap or fracture so that the beds are displaced on each 


side of the fracture the displacement is called a fault. 
Two faults run north-east and south-west forming the 
boundaries of the coalfields of Central Scotland. The 
Southern Uplands lie to the south of the southern line 
of fault. That is to say, the Old Red Sandstone and 
Carboniferous strata of the Midlothian coalfield lie up 
against the Ordovician of Peeblesshire (Fig. I, p. 26). 

The surface of the Uplands is greatly wrinkled and 
contorted. The ridges of strata are called anticlines, the 
hollows, sync/ines, see Fig. 2 (p. 26) where o, o, are 
anticlines, />, />, synclines. The anticlines may some- 
times be so folded over that younger strata lie below 
older. This has happened in the case of the Birkhill 
Shales and has consequently made reading of the geological 
record a difficult task. 

In the Ordovician period the strata were laid down 
in a sea which covered Wales and southern Scotland. 
In this sea lived plants, and animals of simple form 
like graptolites, trilobites, corals and starfish. It was a 
period of intense volcanic activity, and igneous rocks 
found their way through rents and fissures. A strip of 
about seven miles broad in the north of Peeblesshire 
belongs to the Ordovician (Lower Silurian) period. But 
the greater part of Peeblesshire and the whole of Selkirk- 
shire belong to the period which followed, namely, the 
Silurian proper (Upper Silurian). This latter period was 
characterized by the deposition of sediments and lime- 
stones in a shallow, quiet, and wide spreading sea ; and 
the life of the period marks a great advance on that of 
the one previous. For certain forms of insects and fish, 


<D O 

,4 C 
r -o 



















s Rocks 
t Lower 






.2 * 

o 'S 


i ~ 



3 rti 



and the first representatives of the backboned animals, 
now began to appear. Till 1852 it was thought that the 
Silurian rocks of the district were destitute of fossils. 
But James Nicol, son of the minister of Traquair, 
showed that greywacke (the older name for Silurian rock) 
was fossiliferous. Later, Lapworth, then a teacher at 
Galashiels, established a distinction between the two 
systems (Upper and Lower Silurian) ; and, because the 
latter system is best developed in Wales, named it 
Ordovician after an ancient Welsh tribe of that district. 

After these rocks became land, the downthrow in the 
trough fault of Central Scotland caused a ridging up of 
the Southern Uplands into a real mountain range from 
Girvan to Dunbar, so that the rocks of Peeblesshire, the 
general dip or inclination of which is N.N.W., plunge in 
that direction beneath the great Carboniferous basin of 
southern Scotland not again to reappear till they emerge 
in a much narrower band under the Grampians. In 
course of time, however, these mountains of elevation 
were worn down by sub-aerial forces and the process of 
denudation was assisted by the fact that the strata of these 
mountains were anticlines, that is to say, sloped away 
from the axis of elevation (Fig. 3), whereas in mountains 
built up of synclines, the strata would slope towards the 
axis of elevation (Fig. 4) and the mountains would there- 
fore be of more stable equilibrium. 

The process may be further illustrated by Fig. 5 ; 
from which we may see that the masses A, C y E would 
be gradually worn down to an undulating plain, which, 
having been once more raised to a high plateau of about 


3000 feet, the sub-aerial forces renewed their work with 
increased vigour till the hills and valleys of the two 
counties assumed practically their present outlines. In 
this way the hills of Peebles and Selkirk became hills of 
circumdenudation, i.e. they were, so to speak, dug out 
not raised up like mountains of elevation. They also 
became hills of synclinal formation like B and Z), 
and their valleys valleys of erosion like c, c and , 

Fig. 3. Anticline 

Fig. 5 

A B C D E surface before, and a B c D e surface after long period 
of denudation 

where, as the erosion continued, the older rocks would 
be exposed. Thus " the valleys were exalted and the 
mountains were laid low." 

After the Silurian Uplands had been raised the 
Devonian and Old Red Sandstone strata began to be 
deposited unconformably in inland seas and lakes bor- 
dering on these uplands unconformably, because the 
strata of this mountainous surface had been contorted and 


worn down before the Old Red Sandstone was deposited 
upon it. It was thus that one formation, raised into dry 
land, supplied the materials for the next and others in 
succession. As the Ordovician and Silurian are therefore 
older than the Old Red Sandstone and the systems that 
followed it, a great gap exists in the geological history of 
Peebles and Selkirk up till the glacial epoch, deposits of 
which they have in abundance. 

Graptolites from the Hartfell Shales, Mount Benger 
Burn, Yarrow, Selkirkshire 

(i Diplograptus foliaceus, 1 Climacograptus bicornis} 

The fossils characteristic of the Ordovician and 
Silurian systems are called graptolites from their re- 
semblance to a quill pen. They belong to the order of 
Hydrozoa. In the Silurian (Upper) the graptolites are 
nearly all single forms, as, for example, the monograptus. 
Branched forms as the Didymograptus and Diplograptus are 


very common in the Ordovician, but quite unknown in 
the Silurian system. Not only are systems distinguished 
by their characteristic fossils, but the sub-divisions or 
groups of systems are themselves distinguished in a similar 
manner. There are three places in the south-western 
borders of Peebles and Selkirk where fossils found in black 
shaly formations could not be identified with the fossils 
of the Silurian rocks found in the other parts as at 
Galashiels, where Professor Lapworth first discovered 
graptolites, and as at Grieston, where Nicol found many 
specimens of the monograptus. These places were Birkhill, 
Hart Fell and Glenkiln. Two of these groups were identi- 
fied by means of their fossils with the groups of the Lower 
Silurian in Wales and the other with the group imme- 
diately above it and therefore as belonging to the Upper 

The district in Selkirkshire where the outcrops of 
Caradoc, Llandovery and Tarannon rocks (known as the 
"Ettrick Band") may best be observed, extends from 
Craigmichan Scaurs on the south-west of Capel Fell to 
Berry Bush in Tushielaw Burn, and is bounded on the 
north-west by the Yarrow and on the south-east by the 
Ettrick : an area of fifteen miles long by two miles broad 
and having upwards of fifty exposures. The line of separa- 
tion between the Upper Silurian to the south-east and the 
Lower Silurian or Ordovician to the north-west follows 
the Kingledoors Burn to the Tweed, passes north of 
Dawyck, west of Stobo, to the Lyne, crossing the Tweed 
at its junction with that tributary. Passing north of 
Peebles over Hamilton Hill behind Neidpath it extends 

Graptolite (Monograptus Sedgwicki] 
from Grieston Quarry, Peeblesshire 

Graptolites (Afonograptits Griesfonensis) 
from Grieston Quarry, Peeblesshire 


along the southern slopes of Makeness Kipps, where, 
making a return to form a lense-shaped bay, through 
which flows Leithen Water, it strikes north across the 
highroad between Innerleithen and Gorebridge, crosses 
the Gala at Crookston and cuts through the Lammermuirs 
to Whittinghame. North of the Ordovician area, the 
rest of Peeblesshire lying north-west of the line of fault 
(which practically follows the highway from Leadburn 
to Skirling) including the upper portion of the Lyne 
valley, belongs to the Old Red Sandstone formation. 

Within the Silurian area a thin zone of limestone runs 
across the valley of the Tweed from Winkston by Drum- 
melzier south-west by Wrae and reappears a little further 
on at Glencotho. What is perhaps a continuation of this 
limestone appears at Kilbucho. 

Igneous rocks, usually consisting of porphyries, syenites, 
felstones and dolerites appear in dykes i.e. vertical walls 
of igneous rock coincident as a rule with the direction 
of the prevailing strike. The most prominent example of 
felsite porphyry is a group of dykes near Innerleithen 
on Priesthope Hill, the largest of which extends from 
above St Ronan's Mill to beyond Grieston Quarry for 
about 3^ miles. A section is exposed at Walkerburn. 
A series of outcrops of lava of Arenig age, the oldest 
exposed rock in the Southern Uplands, beginning beyond 
Biggar stretches in echelon order along the line of fault 
as far as Lamancha. These Arenig lavas form the 
base of the Southern Uplands and would be found 
anywhere in the region if one could bore deep enough. 
They appear in the Southern Uplands because the oldest 


Silurian rocks have been upheaved at intervals all the 
way across from Ballantrae to the north of Peebles. 
The base of the Arenig lavas has, however, never been 

Many traces of glacial action and glacial drift occur 
in Peebles and Selkirk, the most important being the 
boulder-clay (i.e. the clay mixed with boulder stones 
deposited by the ice-sheet during the Glacial Period), 
the upper portion of which is often rudely stratified. 
The lower boulder-clay was mostly swept out of the 
valleys by the second glacier of this region, which left 
deposits of boulder-clay thickest in the valleys, but it 
is to be found up to a height of 1700 feet. It forms 
sloping shelves or terraces more or less denuded. Examples 
of these terraces, plateaux or banks, are to be found at 
Tweedshaws, at Lyne, in the Leithen valley, where also 
lower boulder-clay has been exposed with interbedded 
sands and gravels, at Glendean in the Quair valley and at 
Ettrick Toad Holes. Flutings, or markings due to glacial 
action on the hill slopes and valleys, are to be seen at 
Cademuir near Peebles, Kingledoors, Mossfennan, Drum- 
melzier, near which stands Tinnis Castle, surrounded by 
a fragmentary ravine parallel to the river. In Drummel- 
zier Burn on the slope of Finglen Hill another fragment 
of a water course seems to mark the bed of the stream 
which flowed to Tinnis Castle. At Cardrona, Traquair, 
and in Yarrow, these hollows or trenches of old water 
courses are also to be found. Terraces formed of banks 
of sand or gravel drift (left by glacial streams), called 
" kames," are to be seen in Lyne, at Sheriffmuir near 

p. P. s. 3 


Lyne, in the Meldon valley, and at West Linton. 
Moraines (deposits left by glaciers) occur at Holylee, 
where the highway cuts through a terminal moraine, and 
in Manor, where a very striking series of moraines one 
primary and several secondary form a noticeable feature. 
In the same valley there is a roche moutonnee^ round which 
the glacier cut its way so deeply that the engineers of the 
Edinburgh Water Trust failed to find a bottom. There 
are also moraines near Selkirk, and one, a fine example, 
on the road to Corbie Linn. Erratic blocks transported 
by glaciers are not found at a greater elevation than 
noo feet, but they are numerous in the upper grounds 
of Peebles and Selkirk. 

The age and comparative softness of the rocks, the 
long denudation to which they have been subjected, have 
produced a striking absence of rugged masses. Another 
effect of glacial action not so noticeable, perhaps, but 
worth noting as a confirmation of the trend of the 
Tweed glacier, is that the western and south-western 
sides of the hills are always barer and steeper than the 
opposites sides, due to the forces of glacial action by 
which formation of " crag and tail " is produced. 

7. Natural History. 

The Southern Uplands from their inland and elevated 
situation and the uniformity of their physical features 
have a somewhat limited range of flora, while those 
plants of the Alpine series that are found are classified 


as sub-Alpine. Such are scurvy grass, the white cloud- 
berry in the black peat mosses of the Moorfoots, Yarrow 
and Ettrick, the yellow, starry and mossy saxifrages, the 
marsh thistle, monk's rhubarb, Alpine sedge, butterwort, 
Festuca vivipara, Alpine club-moss and the Trientalis 

The hill pastures like the slopes of Cademuir gleam 
with the tiny starry-eyed Helianthemum y often with the 
yellow pansy as its neighbour. Further down, amongst 
the purple "sclidders," or by the drystone dykes, the pink 
foxglove shines vividly, sometimes amid masses of yellow 
broom. In summer the wild roses and the hawthorn, 
white and pink in summer, red as fire in winter, fringe 
the roadway. In the quieter meadows where the hills 
recede, or the current flows more gently, or in the dark 
marshy pools of the woods, as at Rachan or Soonhope, 
one comes upon the water forget-me-not or the rosebay 
willow herb, white grass of Parnassus, the marsh valerian, 
the queen of the meadow, and, very common in Tweed 
valley, the water-crowfoot. In the woods, the primrose, 
the wood-sorrel, the wood-anemone, and sometimes the 
harebell, where the canopy is thin, may be seen in leaf 
or flower. 

Heather or ling is not uncommon, and white heather 
is found at Cademuir, Horsburgh, and Crookston. With 
the heather the red whortleberry (or Idaean vine) and 
the blaeberry (or bilberry, not so common as else- 
where), are found on the heights; while the barberry, 
green and gold in summer, and green and scarlet in 
autumn, adorns the high hedges at Peebles, Linton, 



Rachan, and Yarrow. Cotton grass, called when young, 
mosscrop, and when older, ling, is found in Ettrick and 
makes white in summer the heathery tracts at Leadburn j 
white bent, flying bent, stool bent, are all common on the 
hills in Yarrow and Ettrick. The bracken on the hill 
slopes and the curled rock brake are abundant.. Hart's 
tongue and maidenhair fern are rare. The filmy fern is 
found in Megget. 

The trees that grew in the Ettrick Forest were the 
birch, the Scots fir, the oak, the mountain ash, the alder, 
the ash, the elm, the hazel. Those introduced are the 
sycamore or plane tree, the larch, the spruce, and the 
silver fir (eighteenth century). The "Fauldshope Oaks," 
the largest clump of natural-grown oak in Selkirkshire, 
are small, gnarled, stunted trees, quite unlike the lofty 
trees for which the Forest was famed. Some years ago 
300 acres of the south slope of Bowhill were enclosed to 
see if the indigenous trees would grow up. With few 
exceptions all the trees that grew up were natives. The 
oak, however, did not grow. The lessons that have 
been drawn from this, the "Howbottom Experiment," 
are that the old forest of Ettrick was not a stately and 
uniform growth of timber ; and that the valleys were 
clothed with dense brushwood of hawthorn, birch and 
sallow, while on the hillsides and above the lower growth 
grew tall and noble trees of Scots fir, ash and oak. 

The excavations at Newstead and the discoveries of 
remains in peat mosses show that the elk, the red deer, 
the roe, the wild boar, the fox, the badger, the wolf, and 
the hare must have been more or less numerous in the 



area in the period of the Roman Invasion. The horse 
was then represented by the forest pony (like the Shetland) 
and the Celtic pony (like that of Exmoor). There were 
two types of sheep, one with nearly upright, the other 

Scots Pine 

(Edston Farm, near Peebles) 

with large, curved horns. Goats, apparently less common 
then than sheep, are still found wild in Megget, and near 
Hart Fell and Broad Law. The oxen of those times 
apparently belonged to the small Celtic shorthorn species, 


dark brown or black in colour with a red band on the 
back. Remains of the urus or wild ox were found at 
Lindean Loch in 1852, and at Whitmuir and Kerscleugh 
in Selkirkshire. But the names of the hills and valleys 
are adequate proof that the district was once haunted by 
these wild animals. In Ettrick Forest occur such names 
as Fawn's Law, Brock (Badger's) Hill, Earnsheugh 
(Eagle's Cliff), Deer Law, Bear Craig, Wolfhope, Bucks- 
cleuch, Swinebrae, Oxcleugh, Hartleap, Hyndhope, Gled- 
cleugh (Hawkcliff). 

In 1850 Sir John Hay introduced the fallow-deer to 
the woods at Eshiels; and the roe-deer found in the 
woods at Portmore and Dawyck is slowly working its 
way down to the wooded areas of Ettrick and Selkirk. 
The hill fox, often larger and greyer than in the lowlands, 
is still dreaded by the shepherds for their lambs and by 
the keepers for their pheasants. The brown rat, reported 
to have been first seen in 1777, spread through Peebles to 
Newlands by 1792; and by 1845 the black rat had dis- 
appeared from Manor. Plagues of voles (the short-tailed 
field vole) were so common from 1891 to 1893 in the 
south-west of Scotland including the west of Selkirkshire 
and Peeblesshire that a Royal Commission was appointed 
to deal with them ; but before its report was ready, the 
voles were exterminated by the buzzards and owls, the 
tawny and the short-eared, which had collected in the 
district in great numbers. The brown hare is com- 
mon in the fields, and the variable, blue or Alpine hare 
has spread over the whole area and beyond it since 1 846, 
when it was introduced to the Manor district. The 


squirrel, at one time indigenous in the south, retired to 
the north on the destruction of the ancient woods and 
forests. In 1772 the Duchess of Buccleuch introduced 
it at Dalkeith, whence it has spread all over the Tweed 
area. It is specially destructive to young fir shoots. The 
otter, though becoming rarer, is still hunted in the Tweed, 
Yarrow, and Ettrick. 

Peebles and Selkirk have not so many varieties of 
birds as other counties, for there is no sea-coast, and most 
of the area stands from 200 to 2000 above sea-level, and 
is largely moorland. There are, notwithstanding, about 
IOO species resident or migrant within the counties. 

The thrush and the blackbird are plentiful. In the 
hills the ring-ouzel, or hill blackbird, though nowhere 
resident, takes the place of the merle. The whinchat 
has markedly increased, mainly in Yarrow and Ettrick, 
since 1904-5. The blackcap and garden-warbler are 
found in Ettrick, Yarrow and Tweed ; while the sedge- 
warbler, the "Scottish nightingale," has been decreasing 
of late. But the chiff-chaff, the willow-wren, and the 
redstart are fairly common summer visitors. Of the 
wagtail family, the grey, the yellow, and the tree pippit 
are known, the third being numerous in the Ettrick, 
Yarrow, and Peebles hills, the second rare, having been 
last seen at Tushielaw in 1889. There has been a de- 
crease of late years in the number of swallows. They 
used to be plentiful in Manor vale, where the cuckoo, 
also plentiful, drove them out of their nests. Of the 
finches the commonest is the chaffinch (Scots "Shilfa"); 
but the linnet (whinlintie), less common since the days of 



advanced farming, and the goldfinch are not unknown. 
The cross-bill has been seen at irregular intervals. The 
two buntings, the yellow-hammer and the red bunting, 
are common, while the snow bunting is a winter visitor in 
Ettrick valley, and also at Stobo and West Linton. The 

i Kingfisher, 2 Little Auk, 3, 4 Stormy Petrels 
(All shot in Selkirk) 

raven family breeds among the crags in Manor, Megget, 
and St Mary's; the carrion crow in Dawyck Woods; 
and the hooded or grey crow, locally confounded with 
the carrion crow, near St Mary's Loch. The jay has 


been increasing since 1897, but the magpie and the skylark 
have decreased in numbers. The night-jar, or goat- 
milker, wrongly persecuted by the keepers, the great 
spotted woodpecker, and the kingfisher are not unknown, 
and a specimen of the hoopoe was killed at Edston near 
Peebles in 1893. 

Of birds of prey the owl is common in the area, 
the white or barn owl at Newark, Manor and Stobo, 
the long-eared owl in Ettrick. The tawny owl sometimes 
makes its nests in the trees in the woods. In the twelfth 
century high trees were left in Ettrick Forest for breeding 
places for the falcons. The peregrine falcon still breeds 
in the Traquair, Manor, and Tweedsmuir districts. A 
golden eagle was killed at Gameshope in 1833. An im- 
mature specimen of the osprey was shot at Cardrona in 
1910. The buzzard may be seen every autumn in Peebles- 
shire. A rough-legged buzzard was shot at the Glen in 
1876 and one at Eshiels in 1910. Five years ago the 
honey-buzzard was seen at Dawyck. The heron is 
common in the Tweed valley, and heronries were, or 
still are, to be found at the Haining, Cardrona, Portmore, 
Tweedsmuir, and St Mary's. 

Geese are frequent in the region of the lochs in Sel- 
kirkshire, the commonest being the mallard, the golden 
eye, the shoveller and the tufted duck, the two latter in 
increasing numbers of late. The game birds, black 
grouse and red grouse (muirfowl), the indigenous grouse 
of Scotland, are common. The pheasant, often hand- 
reared, is numerous in the valleys of the Tweed. Coveys 
of partridges are common by the roadside. The " mud- 


dwellers," the golden plover, the lapwing (peewit or pease- 
weet), the curlew (whaup) haunt the lonely moors and 
hills in summer. Others less frequently seen are the 
common and the green sandpiper, while still more rarely 
come the greenshanks, the redshanks, the grey phalarope, 
and the stormy petrel. The common and the herring 
gull haunt the towns near sewage-tainted streams and 
garbage heaps. Black-headed gulls have colonies at 
Whitemoss, Linton, the Haining, Kingside Loch, and 
several mosses between Selkirk and Melrose. 

In the Tweed and its tributaries trout and salmon 
are caught. In the lochs are found trout, perch, pike, 
and eels; and in the stream which joins the Loch o' the 
Lowes and St Mary's u a curious fish" used to be caught 
in the seventeenth century called u red-waimbs" (red- 
bellies) with forked tail. They were never seen except 
between Allhallows and Martinmas. Pennant in his Tour 
(1769) tells how in visiting Moyhall in Inverness he 
found Moy Lake full of trout and char, called in Scots 
"Red Weems." Red-belly is a common dialectic term 
for the char. 

8. Climate and Rainfall. 

By climate we mean the prevailing weather of a 
country; by weather, the state and behaviour of the 
atmosphere. These depend mainly upon temperature; 
and temperature is determined by latitude, altitude, season, 


prevailing winds, and proximity to the sea. Bulk for 
bulk, warm air is lighter than colder air; while water 
vapour is twice as light as air. Hence dryness, as well as 
temperature, affects the weight of the atmosphere. Warm 
and dry air may therefore be heavier than colder air. Air 
in motion will also naturally exercise less pressure than 
stationary masses of air. 

In an area of low pressure the wind flows outwards 
in great spirals with a direction contrary to that of the 
hands of a clock. Such a condition of low pressure is 
called a cyclone. Cyclones accompany, like eddies in a 
river, the great drift of westerly and south-westerly winds 
which are the prevailing winds in our islands. From 
barometric readings, therefore, collected from various 
quarters, it is possible to plot out regions of cyclonic 
disturbance and so to foretell changes and disturbances in 
the weather. So also a region in which the pressure is 
high will, generally speaking, be one towards which winds 
will move in the same direction as the hands of a clock. 
Such a condition of high atmospheric pressure is called an 

The region where the pressure is greatest in the 
Northern Hemisphere is along latitude 35 N. ; and it 
is this belt of high pressure that has most influence on 
the climate of Great Britain, and, therefore, of Peebles 
and Selkirk. From the region of high pressure streams 
of air flow northwards to the North Pole and southwards 
to the Equator. But owing to the rotation of the earth 
from west to east, the winds become south-west winds 
and north-west winds respectively. It is with the former 


that we are concerned. These south-west winds, or 
"variable westerlies," are the prevailing winds of Great 
Britain, and consequently of Peebles and Selkirk. Records 
of winds give the following percentages for west, south- 
west, and south winds in Selkirkshire : Tinnis, for 25 years, 
53-4 ; Bowerhope, near St Mary's, for 10 years, 60*9 ; 
Thirlestane, for three years, 60*5 ; and in Peeblesshire, 
at Stobo Castle, for five years, 51*39. 

Seeing that the "westerlies" blow from a region of 
high pressure to one of low pressure they are said to 
follow the fall of the barometric gradient. That is to 
say, the winds should cut the lines of equal pressure at 
right angles, but, owing to the earth's rotation the winds 
are deflected, and so they cut the isobars at an acute angle. 
Roughly speaking, therefore, the isobars coincide in 
direction with that of the prevailing winds. The most 
important point to notice in connexion with the isobars 
is that as they pass over the Irish sea and St George's 
Channel, they curve downwards, and, as they pass over 
land, they curve upwards, the curve increasing in pro- 
portion to the width of the passage over the sea, or over 
the land. 

The pressure within the counties is greatest in May 
and June, mostly in the latter month, and least in 
October. The barometer over a period of 40 years has 
stood highest at Galashiels with an average of 29*953, 
compared with readings taken at North Esk, the Glen, 
Stobo, Bowhill. The following table gives the average 
barometric pressure for 40 years (1856-95) with the 
average rainfall for the 40 years (1871-1910). It will 



be seen that the pressure and temperature vary indirectly, 
and the rainfall directly as the elevation: 



Yearly Average 




Vorth Esk Reservoir 





Ihe Glen .... 










Bowhill 548 

2 9'875 






Other causes than that of elevation may, of course, have 
determined these means, and the lower temperature of 
Bowhill is no doubt due to a more south-westerly ex- 
posure than Stobo; but the regularity of the variation is 
sufficiently striking. 

Since the sun is the predominating influence which 
determines annual temperature, the isothermals lines of 
equal temperature will follow mainly an east and west 
course, and the temperature will decrease as we pass 
northwards. The average rate of decrease in Great 
Britain is one degree for every 116 geographical miles. 
The "westerlies" bring heat and moisture to our shores, 
and, without the influence of the surrounding sea and 
these warm south-west winds, the climate of Great Britain 
would be so extreme that in January the temperature of 
Peebles would be equal to that of Greenland, or, in other 
words, drop 20. Peebles and Selkirk being inland counties 
do not benefit to the same extent from these warm 
westerlies as the western seaboard counties. Edinburgh, 


although lying to the north, has a mean annual tempera- 
ture 2 higher than that of Peebles and Selkirk, due to 
the proximity of Edinburgh to the sea; and to the 
greater elevation of Peebles and Selkirk, the temperature 
falling, on an average, i for every 270 feet of elevation. 
Within the counties themselves the variations in tem- 
perature depend mainly upon elevation and situation as 
regards the "westerlies." The highest stations will be 
the coldest, and the most westerly, other conditions 
remaining the same, the warmest. 

The average annual rainfall of the British Isles is 
about 39^ inches. The driest part of the year in Scotland 
is generally April. The heaviest period of rainfall in 
Scotland is more irregular, occurring sometimes in winter 
and sometimes in summer. In Peebles and Selkirk, taking 
the results of 26 stations in 1909, we find that 14 places 
had their lowest rainfall in November. In 1910, out of 
28 stations, all had their lowest rainfall in September. 
In 1909, out of 26 stations, 22 had their greatest rainfall 
in October. In 1910, out of 28, 17 had their greatest 
rainfall in August. North Esk reservoir with a record of 
40 years gives a mean rainfall of 39*76 inches. The Glen 
for 2O years gives 40*60 inches ; and the stations on the 
Talla catchment area for 15 years give from 62*70 at 
Talla Linns Foot up to 75*17 inches at Gameshope Farm. 
The highest mean fall in Selkirkshire is Borthwick Brae, 
with 44*29. The map shows very clearly that the 
average rainfall increases with altitude and with degree 
of exposure to the "westerlies." But the influence of 
position with respect to hills is greater than that of altitude. 

Cambridge Vniv, 

Rainfall Map of Scotland 
(By Andrew Watt, M.A.) 


In Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire the hills in the 6o-inch 
zone are the highest in the Southern Uplands. The 
whole south-western portion of Selkirk, including Ettrick 
village and St Mary's Loch, lies within the 5o-inch zone. 
Peebles and Selkirk, therefore, have a less rainfall than 
the Western Highlands; but they have a greater rainfall 
than all the eastern counties of Scotland from Roxburgh 
to Sutherland. Most of the south of Scotland has a rain- 
fall exceeding 40 inches, whereas roughly one-third of 
Scotland is embraced within the 30- to 4O-inch zone. 
The crowding of the isohyets indicates a rapid change 
from one zone to another; and from the Grey Mare's 
Tail to Jedburgh, a distance of only 30 miles, we pass 
through five different zones of from 60 to 30 inches. As 
most of the river valleys run from south-west to north- 
east, the rain-bearing winds will bring moisture to both 
sides. Hence the hills are "the greenest that e'er the sun 
shone on." A Yarrow legend that the deluge came from 
the south-west, is no doubt due to the fact that all great 
rain storms and floods would come from that quarter. 

9. People Race. Language. Popula= 

Before and after the Roman invasion, successive waves 
of immigration passed over the Southern Uplands Celtic 
Goidels, Celtic Brythons, Angles, Norsemen. The in- 
habitants prior to the first Celtic arrival are known as 
Iberians. Each wave of immigration influenced the 


population, and a striking result of this is seen in the 
place-names of Peebles and Selkirk. Gaelic and Cymric 
(i.e. British), English and Norse appear ; Gaelic rare, 
Cymric common, while, since some roots are the same in 
English and Norse, the Norse element has perhaps been 
under-estimated. Gaelic are drum, cnoc, ra, as in Drum- 
melzier, Knockknowes, Rachan; Cymric are caer, tin, 
pen, tor, tra, dre, as in Cardrona, Linton, Lee Pen, Tor- 
wood, Traquair, Dreva; common to Gaelic and Cymric 
are cad, loch, pol, as in Caddon, Polmood. Most of the 
river-names are Cymric, as Tweed, Fruid, Talla, Manor, 
Leithen, Yarrow, Tima. Cymric names are remarkable 
for their melody, as is clear from the rhythm of the 
following couplet formed of place-names in order of 
locality : 

" Garlavin, Cardon, Cardrona, Caerlee, 
Penvenna, Penvalla, Trahenna, Traquair." 

English roots are ton, stead, cote, burgh, worth, heugh, law, 
edge, knowe, mount, head: Norse are grain (a branching 
river or river valley), scaur, myre, hope (valley), fell, rig 
(hill), holm, by. Sometimes a name has elements with the 
same meaning from different tongues a sign of mixture 
of peoples as Knockknowes (Celtic and English), Ven- 
lawhill (Celtic and two layers of English). Norse words 
in common use, now or formerly, are awns (spikes of 
barley), big (build), bygg (barley), gar, gimmer, leister, ling, 
lowe (flame). 

This district being for centuries part of the Anglian 
kingdom of Northumbria, its language is descended from 

p. P. s. 4 


that form of Northern English which came to be known 
as Lowland Scots. While many linguistic features are 
common to Peebles and Selkirk, each shire has certain 
peculiarities of its own, which tend more and more to 
disappear. The Selkirk speech, however, is the more 
distinctive. The reason apparently is that Ettrick and 
Yarrow districts owing to their geographical situation 
were less affected by the speech of the Scottish Court, 
and therefore by English and French influences, than 
Peebles. Peebles belongs to the dialect division known 
as Eastern Mid-Lowland, and Selkirk to that known as 
South Lowland. 

The Selkirk dialect, probably the most direct de- 
scendant of the old Anglian speech, is characterised by 
a great variety of diphthongs and by its softness and 
flexibility of intonation. The distinctions are as follows: 
final u tends to become a diphthong. Peeblesshire coo in 
Selkirk is nearer cuw or English cow . Words like see, me, 
we, he, dee (die) become sey, mey, wey, etc. Peebles "you 
an' me '11 poo a pea " becomes in Selkirk " yow an' mey 
'11 puy a pey." Words like bore and foal are diphthongized 
into buore and fuol ; words like name, dale, tale are pro- 
nounced neh-um, deh-ul, teh-ul. When the diphthongs uo 
(or long vowel 0) and ea occur at the beginning of a word 
or are preceded by h, the first develops into wu and the 
second into ye. Orchard is wurtshet; hole is hwull; whole 
\shyel; oats is yetts ; oneisyin; earl is yerl '; home is hyem ; 
sky is skyi ; sword is pronounced with the w. Finally 
the South Lowland is distinguished by its broad pro- 
nunciation of the vowel in men, which sounds like a in 


man. Penny is thus pronounced like panny^ while a as 
in battle is often pronounced as o in bottle : even educated 
persons sometimes pronounce a in English father 'as father. 
The total population of Scotland at the last census 
was 4,759,445, 2,307,603 males, and 2,451,842 females, 







Curves showing the comparative growth of the populations 
of Peebles, Selkirk, Berwick and Roxburgh Shires 

or io6'2 females to 100 males. The figures for Peebles 
are: males 7067, females 8191, total 15,258; or 114*4 
females to 100 males; and for Selkirk: males 11,332, 
females 13,268, or 117-08 females to 100 males. Peebles 



has 43*93 persons to the square mile. Only five counties 
have a less density. Selkirk has 91-82 persons to the 
square mile ; and eighteen counties have a less density. 
The increase of the population within the last 100 years 
has been greatest in the case of Selkirk. This is due to 
the fact that it was at Galashiels and Selkirk that the 
Tweed industry had its origin, reaching its greatest 
development between 1861 and 1881. 

Peebles occupies a medium position between a rural 
and practically non-industrial county like Berwick, and 
an industrial district like that of Selkirk or of Roxburgh, 
the one with the busy manufacturing town of Galashiels, 
the other with that of Hawick. 

10. Agriculture. 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century a period 
of agricultural improvement began throughout Scotland. 
In our two counties improved methods of arable farming 
rapidly developed in the West Linton district ; and further 
down the Tweed enterprising farmers ploughed land 
on hillsides which it would have been better to keep in 
pasture. Sheep farming also felt the impetus ; and about 
1785 the Cheviot sheep introduced on the hills of Peebles 
and Selkirk began to oust the Black-faced breed, while 
about 1845 a tremendous impulse was given to sheep 
farming in the district by the great development of the 
Tweed trade at Galashiels, Selkirk and Hawick. Since 
that time the tendency on the whole has been to withdraw 



land from arable farming and turn it into pasture, and for 
small holdings to disappear. 

The following table gives the areas devoted to various 
purposes, with the percentage that each area bears to the 

Peebles Selkirk 

Total land 


Percentage to 
total land area 




Percentage to 
total land area 


' 27,500 







i 2,300 


and heath 
for pasture 


7 1 "54 




1 1,300 














Arable land has been ploughed as far up as 900 to 
IOOO feet and wheat has been grown in Selkirkshire at 
a height of 700 feet. Since 1834 the area under the 
plough in Peebleshire has decreased, that in Selkirkshire 
increased, while in both the area under wood has been 
practically doubled. 

The common rotation for crops in the counties is 
(i) corn (oats), (2) turnips or potatoes, (3) oats (or barley) 
sown with grass, (4) (5) (6) grass. 

Owing, however, to its high elevation and moist 
climate the area is unsuited generally for the growth 
of cereals. But oats, turnips, grass and hay are readily 


grown. Wheat is practically unknown, while barley and 
potatoes are grown only to a trifling extent. Clover, 
sainfoin and rotation grasses are the largest crop in both 
counties : in Peebles 15,812 acres, in Selkirk, 8335. The 
total product of hay of all kinds for 1911 was in Peebles 
6457 tons, the acreage being 5017, in Selkirk 3211 tons, 
the acreage being 3013 ; in each case the proportion 
of natural to artificial hay was about one half. The 
connexion between these cultivations and sheep farming 
is apparent ; they can all be utilized for feeding purposes. 
Mixed farming, however, is supposed to be more economical 
for the simple reason that what is lost in the one depart- 
ment may be made good in the other. But the principal 
farming industry is sheep-rearing. Hill farmers breed to 
sell lambs; farmers lower down, while doing the same, also 
buy lambs for feeding purposes to sell in winter or spring. 
In the time of James IV the total number of sheep 
in Ettrick Forest was 10,000 an extraordinary number 
it was then considered to be. But the Forest now bears 
eighteen times as many, the numbers for 1912 being: 

Sheep Peebles Selkirk 

Ewes breeding 89,427 81,259 

Other sheep one year and over 23,662 19,343 
Under one year 83,141 75>436 

Total 196,230 176,038 

About eighty years ago (1832) a fair estimate for Peebles 
would be 102,000, for Selkirk seventy to eighty thousand, 
or less than half of the present number. 


Female sheep, from six to eighteen months old, kept 
for breeding, are called hogs; the next year gimmers; the 
fourth season young ewes ; the fifth, and thereafter, old 
ewes; the males for fattening are called wedders; the 
others tups or rams. 

The "Black-faced," "Tweed-dale," or "Forest" breed 
are horned, with black faces, black legs and coarse wool ; 
compact, short legged, round bodied with rising forehead, 
and "kindly" feeders, that is, taking kindly to their 
pasture. The Cheviot breed was introduced in 1785 as 
the best adapted of the fine-woolled sheep for high, bleak 
situations. Hogg, " the Ettrick shepherd," fiercely 
opposed their introduction, lamenting that the black- 
faced "ewie wi' the crookit horn" should be banished from 
its native hills for those " white-faced gentry." Its 
introduction led to the planting of firwoods and the 
building of "stells" for shelter: noticeable features in the 
pastoral farms of the district. But in Peeblesshire, since 
1864, owing to the losses of 1859-60, the Black-faced 
variety has been reverted to, the proportion in Peeblesshire 
now being three to two. In Selkirkshire, however, the 
sheep above one year are in the proportion of two-thirds 
Cheviots, one-quarter Black-faced, and the remainder 

Before the days of sheep dip the wool had to be 
"smeared" or "salved" with tar 1 and butter. Farmers 
who advocated other methods were characterized as 

1 Sir Walter Scott had only one song, it was said, in his repertoire : 

"Tarry 'oo is ill to spin." 
This he used to sing at the Selkirkshire Pastoralists' Association. 



" ignorant, inexperienced and revolutionary reforming 
farmers." Sheep farmers are now bound by the Regula- 
tions of the Board of Agriculture to have all their sheep 
dipped twice a year within certain specified dates. 

Sheep are not shorn of their fleece till they are sixteen 
months old, and thereafter they are shorn every year, 

Sheep-shearing at Henderland Farm, Megget 

generally in July. The washing generally takes place 
from five to six days before the shearing, but as a rule the 
black faces are not washed. Their wool is sold " in the 
grease," in which condition it is said to keep better in 
transit, and the grease in the wool is manufactured into 
the by-product called " lanoline." The fleeces must be 
carefully tied up and all refuse kept out of the wool. 


Cheviot wool is rolled up with the inside of the fleece 
outwards, and black-faced wool with the outside out. 
Hog wool is more valued than wedder wool. 

The "clip," of course, varies. But in 1905 the 
average weight for Peeblesshire was 4! Ibs. for ewes, and 
for other sheep 5^ Ibs. ; for Selkirk 4 Ibs. for ewes, and 
4| Ibs. for other sheep. The difference in weight between 
a washed and an unwashed fleece varies from I Ib. to 
ii Ib., while the washed black- faced fleece is lighter than 
that of the Cheviot. 

Sheep are subject to certain diseases, the most prevalent 
being " Braxy " and the " Louping 111 " ; the former 
a species of inflammation, the latter of paralysis. The 
season for braxy is November to February, and in Peebles, 
Selkirk and Roxburgh the mortality from this disease 
sometimes reaches 25 per cent. The districts most affected 
are the hilly regions in the heart and in the south-west of 
Peeblesshire, a stretch of hilly country on the boundary 
line between Peebles and Selkirk and also stretching south- 
eastwards along the boundary line between Selkirk and 

The heather on sheep farms is burned once in nine 
years and new heather is ready to eat in three or four 
years ; if the ground is mossy it may be in two years. 
Young heather is best both for farmer and sportsman. 
For long heather is of no use for cover unless the birds 
have also young heather to feed on. Hence some farmers 
contend that the proportion of young to long heather 
should be greater than it is. The dates for burning 
the heather are loth December to loth April, failing 


which application must be made to the landlord for special 
permission by the sheriff to have the time extended to the 
25th April. 

By 1714 Ettrick forest was completely denuded of its 
oaks. Then began an era of planting, which almost 
became a mania. Towards the close of the century, when 
Wordsworth with his sister Dorothy visited the district 
and found the 

" Noble brotherhood of trees " 

at Neidpath Castle cut down by the "Degenerate Douglas," 
they also found that a noticeable feature in the landscape 
was the raw new plantations surrounding a number of 
newly built mansion houses. The northern portion of 
Peeblesshire containing the parishes of West Linton, 
Newlands, Eddleston, Lyne, Peebles and Traquair, with 
an area of 1 16,175 acres has 6955^ acres, or 6'O per cent, 
under wood, while the parishes of Tweedsmuir, Broughton, 
Skirling, Kirkurd, Drummelzier, and Manor with an area 
of 106,424 acres have only 437of acres or 4'! per cent, 
under wood. 

In Selkirkshire the parishes of Caddonfoot, Galashiels, 
Yarrow and Selkirk, amounting to 92,412 acres, have 
3989! acres or 4-3 per cent, under wood, while the 
parishes of Ashkirk, Ettrick, and Kirkhope, containing 
78,349 acres, have only 1303! acres or i - 6 per cent, 
under wood. Peebles is therefore nearly twice as well 
wooded as Selkirk, but is itself about three times less 
well wooded than the best-wooded districts of Scotland. 
Dawyck woods planted by Sir James Naesmyth, assisted it 
is said by Linnaeus, whose pupil he was, cover some 



2800 acres and are amongst the most famous woods in 
the south of Scotland. Other well-known woods are to 
be found at Stobo, Haystoun, Bowhill, the Haining and 
Hangingshaw. The trees planted for economic purposes 
are mainly the Douglas pine (which is extensively planted), 

Oldest Larch in Scotland 

(Planted at Kailzie by Sir James Naesmyth of Posso in 1725) 

the Scots fir, the clear pine, the larch, and the sycamore 
(Scots plane tree). 

A special cultivation of interest is found in the vineries 
of Clovenfords. Established in 1868, the vineries and 
plant-houses cover nearly six acres and are heated by 


some six miles of pipes. They produce annually about 
15,000 pounds of grapes, the best-flavoured being the 
Duke of Buccleuch, raised by the founder, who was the 
Duke's gardener. Tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, palms, 
araucarias, dracaenas and aspidistras are grown as well as 

ii. The Manufacture of Wool. 

In a district famous for sheep, the chief manufacture is 
naturally that of wool. At one time Selkirk was famous 
for its shoemaking. The " Souters," however, with their 
"single-soled shoon" have long since disappeared. "Single- 
soled shoon" were brogues with a single thin sole, the 
purchaser himself sewing on another of thick leather. 
" Souter " has continued to be the distinctive appellation 
of the inhabitants of Selkirk. The quaint ceremony of 
" licking the birse " is still performed by the recipient of 
the honorary freedom of the Burgh, the " birse " being 
the bristles with which shoemakers point their " lingles " 
or thread, and the licking being performed by dipping the 
bunch in wine and then drawing it through the lips. 

In 1587 Parliament passed an Act to encourage the 
settlement of Flemish craftsmen and the employment 
of Scottish apprentices. About this time, also, we find 
the first mention of the manufacture of wool at Galashiels, 
which then had two " wauk " mills. By the seventeenth 
century three mills were busy felting or milling the webs 
made from the wool of the district and spun by the women 
in their houses. The thieves of Liddesdale held the 


Galashiels "hodden grey" in high repute. During the 
days of the Civil War numerous acts were passed to 
encourage woollen manufacture in Scotland. The Board 
of Manufactures in 1728 appointed in Galashiels, Hawick, 
Jedburgh, Peebles, and Lauder, persons skilled in sorting, 
stapling and washing coarse, tarred wool. Each received 
a salary of ^20 and also utensils. These grants were 
continued to the woollen trade till 1840. In 1835 
Galashiels manufacturers built mills in Selkirk ; about 
1850 the first cloth-mill was established in Peebles; 
and thereafter the trade took root in Innerleithen and 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the kind 
of cloth manufactured was shepherd tartan, of which 
travelling cloaks were made. Trousers were made of the 
same pattern, and Sir Walter Scott's may still be seen at 
Abbotsford. Mr Dickson of Peebles manufactured trousers 
of the plaid pattern for the London market, and the only 
variation of pattern attempted was the size of the black 
and white check. Then checks of black and brown were 
introduced and other colours tried. Following the checks, 
twills were tried, and new combinations of colours 
followed. Every change gave the trade a fresh impetus, 
and Scottish fancy woollens became the fashion. The 
local supply of wool proved inadequate, even though a 
corresponding development took place in pastoral farming ; 
and in 1834 fine wool was imported from abroad. Within 
six years four-fifths of the wool was imported at first the 
fine merino of the continent, but soon the more suitable 
wool of the colonies was employed. 


From the 400,000 sheep in the district the yield 
of unwashed wool is upwards of 2,000,000 Ibs. As the 
district probably possesses more sheep per acre than any 
other region in the world, it is not difficult to understand 
why the Scotch Tweed trade should find its home in the 
valleys of the Tweed and its tributaries. But, great 
though the home supply is, it is insufficient to meet more 
than one-tenth of the trade requirements. 

There are 43 woollen mills, using annually about 
1 8 million Ibs. of raw wool, valued at over ^1, 000,000 
sterling. These mills contain 200 sets of carding machines, 
about 160,000 mule spindles, and 1900 power looms, 
employing altogether about 7500 workpeople, earning, it 
is estimated, ^375,000 in wages per annum. The capital 
sunk in the woollen industry of the two counties will 
exceed two millions sterling. Fully 60 per cent, of 
the Scotch Tweed produced is manufactured in the 
counties of Peebles and Selkirk. 

The Scotch Tweed manufacturers have always been 
strong supporters of technical education. In 1883 classes 
for instruction in the technique of manufacture were 
commenced in Galashiels under the auspices of the 
Manufacturers' Corporation. In later years the classes 
attained a remarkable degree of success and their good 
work was so appreciated that, when the manufacturers 
were invited to contribute towards a scheme for a Technical 
College for the south of Scotland, a sum of .11,000 was 
readily forthcoming, which, augmented by an equivalent 
grant from Government, enabled the promoters to erect 
a college worthy of the traditions and importance of the 

Power Looms 

Warping Machines 
(March Street Mills, Peebles) 



woollen trade. Galashiels has become a name to conjure 
with throughout the world not only on account of the 
excellence of its " Tweed," but also on account of the 
skill of its Tweed designers, and in consequence many 
Borderers are to be found all over England, Ireland, 

Technical College, Galashiels 

Europe, America, and the colonies holding high positions 
in woollen mills. 

The kinds of cloth manufactured in Galashiels, Selkirk, 
and Peebles vary from time to time, and it may happen 
that while trade is busy in one town or in one manufac- 
tory of a town, it is extremely slack in another town or 


factory. The staple manufacture of the district, however, 
is Cheviot cloths suitable for sport and motoring and out- 
of-doors wear, Saxony and worsteds not lending them- 
selves to the make-up of garments for such purposes. 
It will be seen, therefore, that in the Tweed manufac- 
ture a great deal depends upon the readiness with which 
the manufacturer can anticipate and supply the popular 

The origin of the word " Tweed " in its industrial 
sense is interesting. In the early part of the nineteenth 
century a considerable trade in Scotch " Tweels " had 
sprung up with London merchants. In 1826 a firm in the 
south of Scotland consigned a quantity of these goods to a 
leading woollen warehouseman in London. The invoice 
clerk by a slip transformed " Tweels " into " Tweeds " ; 
and the merchant, thinking this an appropriate designation, 
repeated more "Tweeds." The name and cloth caught 
the public favour, and " Tweed " is now the accepted 
trade description throughout the world. 

12. Minerals. 

Except in north-west Peeblesshire, no rocks of economic 
value occur in the two counties ; unless greywacke 
(whinstone), useful for building and for road-making, may 
be so regarded. Before the period of tree-planting, 
whinstone was much in evidence as stone-wall fences. 
The whinstone being a stratified rock splits readily with a 
clean fracture. It has undergone many contortions, which 

p. P. s. 5 


render it difficult to deal with for building purposes, but 
the stonemasons of the district are famous for their skill in 
its manipulation, producing as they do with only a hammer 
and trowel beautifully-faced walls. Freestone abounds in 
the carboniferous tracts, white and yellow as at Carlops, 
chocolate-coloured as at West Linton. In the Dod Wood 
at Kirkurd are numerous old and new quarries of white 
and red sandstone, where the red stone of the buildings at 
Lyne Camp were probably obtained. Previous to 1841, 
before the geological record was thoroughly understood, 
the carbonaceous shales of coal and limestone were wrought 
at Carlops ; and not so long ago a coal pit was worked at 
Macbie Hill, where still a little mining is done. Attempts 
were also made to find coal at Lindean and Galashiels ; 
and anthracite was said to have been got at Grieston and 
Caddonfoot. But these attempts were bound to fail, 
because the sandstones, the limestone, and the millstone 
grit of the West Linton district all lie beneath the coal 
measures, which are naturally thickest in the middle of 
their hollow basin, and thinnest at the upturned edges. 
Such coal as is found in the district will be " edge coal " ; 
while " anthracite " found in Silurian strata is either black 
shale or has been formed from quantities of embedded 
animal matter. 

Lead used to be worked on the Medwyn in the 
sixteenth century, and the excavations are now called 
"Silver Holes " from the fact that silver was once obtained 
there. In the seventeenth century a lead mine was said 
to exist on the north side of Selkirk, at the head of the 
Linglie Burn, and a silver mine at Windy Neil. Lead 


has also been mined for at the Bold Burn, at Grieston, at 
Windlestrae, at Kershope in Yarrow, and at Innerleithen, 
where smelting furnaces were discovered four feet beneath 
the surface in the churchyard. Gold is said to have been 
found in Henderland, in Glengaber, and Mount Benger 
Burns, in the reign of James V. A specimen from 
Glengaber Burn is preserved in the Peebles Museum. 
Gold is also recorded as having been obtained in the 
Douglas Braes at Douglas Craig and in Linglie Burn. 
The Regent Morton had a contract for working gold 
at Henderland. But the enterprise was unsuccessful. 
Veins of haematite occur here and there in Silurian rock. 
At Noble House a bed of red haematite shale lies among 
the green shales of the district, and was worked some 
twenty years ago. Iron pyrites occur at Bowerhope, and 
oxide of iron is found in many of the mosses. Silurian 
shales have often been worked for slate, as at Stobo and 
Grieston quarries. Out of the former many of the houses 
in old Edinburgh are said to have been roofed. These 
quarries are no longer worked, either because they are 
exhausted, or because better material is now more easily 
obtained. The felsite near Innerleithen has been used for 
making curling stones. Lime quarries are common in 
the West Linton district ; and lochs in Selkirk have 
sometimes been drained for their marl, a mixture of lime 
and clay, invaluable to the farmer. 

Mineral springs are fairly numerous. A century ago 
the well-known chalybeate spring at Innerleithen made 
the village a fashionable summer-resort and furnished Sir 
Walter Scott with a setting for his romance, St Ronan's. 




Well. This spring used to be known as the "Doo Well" 
because of the pigeons that flocked to it. A sulphurous 
spring at Castlecraig had the reputation of being stronger 
than that of Moffat. At Rutherford near Carlops there 
is a chalybeate well, " Heavenly Aqua " ; another, 
" Philip's Well," at Catslacknowe in Selkirk ; and two 
at Bowerhope. Calcareous springs have been found in 
fifteen different places in Yarrow. 

St Ronan's Well, Innerleithen 

Alluvium peat is found in many of the hills, as is 
shown by the not uncommon designation of " Peat Law." 
The hills of Manor, the Moorfoots, and Auchencorth 
Moss, near Leadburn, are the best known districts for 
peat. Experiments were made in the compression of 
peat by the minister of Traquair about 1834 ; but, owing 


to railway extension and the cheapening in the price 
of coal, the digging of peat is now confined to the remoter 
districts amongst the hills. 

13. Fishing. 

For salmon, grilse or sea-trout few rivers can surpass 
the Tweed. Though not free from impurities near the 
manufacturing centres, it may on the whole be designated 
a clear, clean river. It is fairly free from rocks and 
overhanging woods, while its gravelly bottom with loose 
stones of moderate size, is suitable for spawning, and 
furnishes abundant and suitable feeding for the fish. The 
river, neither swift nor sullen, but with complete and 
uninterrupted charm for the angler, ripples in silvery 
streams from pool to pool. 

Trout fishing, except near the towns, where it is 
overdone, is good ; and salmon fishing in its season, from 
Peebles to Berwick, is excellent. Par and smolts are 
illegal capture till the first of June, and the close season 
lasts from October to January inclusive. Neither trout 
nor salmon fishing is quite so good as formerly due no 
doubt to extensive drainage, causing the flood waters now 
to run ofF in days instead of in weeks ; to poaching ; and 
to fishing out of season. An Angling Improvement 
Association has been formed at Peebles to check the two 
latter evils ; and certain proprietors in the district who 
proposed to close their waters have now leased them to 
the Association, which controls a stretch of water from 


Manor Bridge to the march at Elibank, between Peebles 
and Selkirk. Throughout its 100 miles Tweed has 316 
named Salmon casts; 55 casts from "Inch" three miles 
above Peebles to "Kameknowehead" near Elibank. The 
remaining 261 casts from "Kameknowehead" to "Low 

Bend on the Tweed near Yair 

Bells" near Berwick are either let, or in the hands of the 

The principal tributaries and sub-tributaries most of 
them interesting and picturesque in which good angling 
may be had, are Cor, Fruid, Gameshope, Hearthstone, 
Holms, Kingledoors, Menzion, Polmood, Stanhope, Talla, 
Lyne, Tarth, Manor, Quair. The Peebleshire Lochs 


are not of much account ; but mention may be made of 
Portmore (pike, perch, trout), Gameshope, Slipperfield 
(pike and perch but no trout), Talla Reservoir, and North 
Esk Reservoir. 

Yarrow, surpassing Tweed in poetical and romantic 
lore, approaches it in fishing fame. Beyond the rocks 
and trees, there are some fine casts ; as Levinshope Burn 
to Deuchar Mill ; from Sundhope for a mile up (the best 
angling part of Yarrow) ; Eldinhope Burn and the 
Douglas Burn, tributaries on the left. St Mary's Loch, 
an expansion of Yarrow, can be fished all round the shore. 
In this loch the trout are in the majority, but pike and 
perch are on the increase. In the Loch o' the Lowes 
there, were no trout twenty years ago, but now there are 
a few, mainly on the south shore and superior in quality 
to those of St Mary's, while the pike as edible fish are 
superior to those taken elsewhere and often attain a great 
size. Kirkstead, Glengaber and Winterhope Burns are 
good trouting streams. The Ettrick is a salmon stream. 
But trout are hard to catch. The best angling part is 
from Tushielaw Inn to the foot of Tima, a distance of 
three miles, while its tributaries, particularly the Bailie 
Burn, the Rankleburn, the Tima, with Glenkerry, all 
give good sport. Of the Lochs other than St Mary's 
and the Loch o' the Lowes, the best are the Haining, 
Headshaw, five miles from Selkirk, Essenside, Alemuir, 
Hellmuir, the Shaws Lochs and Acremoor. 


14. History of the Counties. 

The inhabitants of Peebles and Selkirk are a mixture 
of many races, the process of whose consolidation did not 
terminate till a Scottish king sat upon the English throne. 
Hence one may assert that over the Southern Uplands 
the tide of war has ebbed and flowed for more than two 
thousand years. 

It was David I who began to civilize the Borders. 
By the time of the Alexanders, Scotland, and particularly 
the Lowlands, had attained a high degree of civilization. 
The Wars of Succession, however, checked this for many 
years ; and no part of the Lowlands suffered more than 
Peebles and Selkirk. The connexion of the shires with 
these wars is not unimportant. The men of the Forest 
fought under Wallace at Falkirk ; and the noble and 
handsome forms of those who fell roused the pitying 
admiration of the English Chronicler of the fight. 
Wallace after his desertion by the nobles at Irvine took 
refuge in the Forest ; and a Peeblesshire baron, Sir Simon 
Fraser the younger, the patriot's friend and companion- 
in-arms, and the hero of Roslin and of Methven, shared 
eventually Wallace's fate. The Good Sir James was lord 
of Ettrick Forest. The Knight of Liddesdale, slain by 
his kinsman near Broadmeadows, was one of the band of 
heroes who won back from the English the castles they 
had captured in the time of David II. 

In the fourteenth century the Borders on both sides 
were divided into three Marches : East, West, and 



Middle. Peebles and Selkirk were included in the 
Middle March. Over each March was set a Warden, 
and at stated intervals on days of truce Warden Courts 
were held. Thus grew up the Border Laws which dealt 
with fugitive serfs, and with offences committed by 
Borderers on either side of the 
boundary, such as manslaughter, 
and theft of goods or cattle. 
The first code of Border Laws 
was drawn up in 1249 '> tne 
second exactly two hundred 
years after. They were revised 
from time to time till the Union, 
when they became null and void. 
Various attempts were made 
to establish order ; notably by 
James II in his contest with the 
Black Douglas, whose territory 
in Ettrick Forest he more than 
once invaded and whom he 
finally crushed at Arkinholm 
in 1454. James IV also made 
at least one famous expedition 
to the Forest, when he exacted 
submission from the "Outlaw 
Murray." Flodden, which so 
greatly enriched the fame and 
traditions of the Forest, gave 
only a short respite to the state 
of anarchy to which the Burgh Flodden Memorial, Selkirk 


Records of Peebles bear frequent and eloquent testimony. 
Brawls and fights in the streets, rapine, raid, and murder 
were the order of the day. The Tweedies of Drummelzier, 
the Scotts of Thirlestane, and other clans were neither 
"to haud nor to bind." 

It was not, however, till the relentless persecution of 
Dacre after Flodden that life on the Borders was brought 
to a state of positive demoralization. "The Borderers," 
says Creighton, "ceased to regard themselves as bound by 
any laws save that of the family tie, and degenerated into 
gangs of brigands whose hand was against every man, and 
who made little distinction between friend and foe." 
Hence it is that James V is best known for his determined 
attempts to restore law and order upon the Borders. In 
1 5 29 he visited Peebles and Jedburgh for this purpose. The 
following year he resumed the task, and with a sufficient 
force followed the " Thief's Road " across the Tweed, 
up by the Lour, round the Scrape and Dollar Law, then 
down the Craigierig Burn to Henderland, where he 
arrested William Cockburn. From there he went to 
Tushielaw, where he surprised Adam Scott, "the King 
of the Borders." The two blackmailers were taken to 
Edinburgh and executed. The Border Widow's Lament 
commemorates the burial of Cockburn. But even these 
stern measures failed to awe the greater barons, whom 
James suspected of connivance at the depredations of their 
"kindly tenants." He, therefore, in the same year, 
caused several of them to be imprisoned. This alienated 
the Border barons ; and James felt the bitter result of 
their defection at the rout of Solway Moss. 


In the reign of Mary the war with England united 
the Borderers against their " Auld Enemy," and even 
Angus returned from exile to break a spear in defence of 
his country and the honour of his ancestors, whose tombs 
Latoun had defaced. The victory of Ancrum Moor 
roused Henry to fury, and the following year he dispatched 
Hertford to take vengeance on the Scots. The tale of 
his burnings and slaughterings is appalling. Peebles was 
burned to the ground with 250 towns and villages in the 
Tweed area besides towers and castles and monasteries. 
Three years after Henry's death came peace between 
England and Scotland ; and the lawlessness of the Borders 
grew more rampant than ever. On Queen Mary's return 
from France, Moray was entrusted with the duty of 
restoring order. His policy afterwards adopted by 
Morton and by James VI was extermination. Yet one 
of the last Border raids perhaps the most daring of all 
was conducted in James's reign by the king's own 
Warden in 1596, when the "Bold Buccleuch" rescued 
"Kinmont Willie" from the castle of Carlisle. This 
deed, the fame of which resounded through Europe, 
nearly brought the two countries to war. It was about 
this time that the Border counties began to be known as 
the Middle Shires and a commission was appointed to 
establish order therein. Special courts were appointed in 
place of the old Warden Courts, at such places as Peebles, 
Hawick, and Jedburgh. Through the expeditious severity 
displayed by Dunbar the Commissioner at Jedburgh, 
" Jethart Justice " came to signify " hang first and try 


The Reformation had had little immediate effect upon 
the Borderers, nor did the constitutional and religious 
struggle of the seventeenth century strongly appeal to 
them. The enthusiasm for the Covenant was less ardent 
than in Galloway or Ayrshire, if an exception may be 
made for the west of Selkirkshire and for the Galashiels 
district. Yet when Montrose, seeking for support to the 
king, reached Kelso, he received little encouragement. 
Montrose advanced to Selkirk and took up his position at 
Philiphaugh. Leslie, receiving word of his proximity, 
marched with his main body on Selkirk, sending a force 
round Linglie hill to attack Montrose in the flank and the 
rear. At Leslie's unexpected attack, the royal troops fled 
in rout over the hills to the west and north. Douglas 
and Montrose, cutting their way through Leslie's lines, 
fled over Minchmoor, and reached Traquair House, where 
they were denied admittance. Making their way through 
the Tweed at Howford, they reached Peebles. From 
there, they escaped across to Clydesdale. In the year 
after his victory at Dunbar, Cromwell dispatched a force 
under Lambert to besiege Neidpath, held by the Earl of 
Tweeddale. The attack was made from the south side 
of the river and after a brave defence the Earl surrendered. 

To the fiasco of the "Fifteen" Selkirk gave a supply 
of shoes and a contribution of 10. In 1745 the town 
of Selkirk, at the request of the city of Edinburgh, 
furnished the Pretender with 2000 pairs of shoes for his 
army. After Prestonpans, the Prince advanced towards 
England in two main divisions. The first column 
marched by Auchendinny to Peebles, thence to Broughton, 


Tweedsmuir, and Moffat. At Peebles the contingent 
occupied the field west of Hay Lodge, and the town- 
mills were kept busy on the Sunday to supply the troops 
with meal. The main column, under the command of 
the Prince, went by Lauder and Kelso, whilst the baggage 
party went by Galashiels and Selkirk. Charles Edward 
is said to have visited Traquair ; but the Earl declined to 
join his cause, and to soften his refusal, declared that the 
gates would remain closed till Charles Stewart re-entered 
them as Sovereign of the Kingdom. 

The war with Napoleon aroused strong feelings of 
patriotism. The old fighting instinct asserted itself again, 
and Peeblesshire, after the Peace of Amiens, raised a levy 
of foot and horse which outnumbered per 1000 of the 
population that of any other county in Scotland. Nor 
was Selkirk less enthusiastic ; for on the occasion of the 
"False Alarm" on the night of January 3ist, 1804, the 
Borderers responded gallantly to the ancient signal of 
the Beacon Lights, and the Selkirkshire yeomanry made 
a notable march, reaching Dalkeith by one o'clock the 
following morning. 

15. Antiquities Pre= historic, British, 

In pre-historic days, the Neolithic men buried their 
dead in long barrows or mounds, while the later Celts 
buried in round barrows. Long barrows contain no 
metal weapons ; round barrows have bronze weapons and 



ornaments as well as stone. In the bronze age, gold 
ornaments are also found. The sepulchral cairn, how- 
ever, is commoner in Peebles and Selkirk than the barrow. 
Tombs of the ancient Celts have been occasionally dis- 
covered in almost every parish in Peeblesshire ; but most 
frequently in the west, especially in the Lyne valley. 

The ancient Britons have also left numerous hill-forts, 

Catrail Fort at Rink 

their houses or defences, which existed before, during, or 
after the Roman occupation. No fewer than 83 of these 
hill-forts have been surveyed in Peeblesshire. They are 
most numerous in the west and north-west of the county, 
rare in Tweedsmuir, in the Quair and in the Leithen 
valleys, unknown on the slopes of the Pentlands and in 
the valley between these hills and the Southern Uplands. 


In Selkirk they are not to be found in the middle valleys 
of Ettrick and Yarrow ; and only nine in all exist in the 
eastern part of Selkirk, the most important being the 
Rink. The forts are usually situated, at an elevation 
ranging from 1000 to 1400 feet, on terminal spurs, as 
East Cademuir ; on isolated hills, as Macbeth's Castle ; 
on the slopes of valleys, as Harehope ; or in the valley 
itself, as Stirkfield, Broughton. Two-thirds of them have 
been constructed entirely of stone, the rest of earth, or 
of earth and stone. Their general form is curvilinear, 
modified to suit the outline of the surface. But it is not 
possible to say whether the walls were built, or simply 
piled up. In the fort at Dreva, however, traces of 
building have been seen. Some forts, as Upper Cademuir, 
have treble rings ; some, as Cardrona, double ; and some, 
as East Cademuir, single rings. The circumference varies, 
roughly from 150 yards at East Cademuir to 600 yards at 
Upper Cademuir. Two stone forts, West Cademuir and 
Dreva, are defended by groups of stones at a lower level 
than the camp, forming a sort of chevaux de frise, a feature 
found nowhere else in Scotland. 

None of these forts equals in interest that on 
Torwoodlee hill a few miles from Galashiels, 300 feet 
above Gala Water and situated within the area of a British 
camp on Crossleehill. It belongs to the type of fort 
known as a broch. Brochs are dry-built circular castles. 
They are characteristic of the Celtic area, outside of 
which they have never been found. They belong to 
post-Roman times; their relics are Celtic, Roman, and 
post-Roman. The remains of the Torwoodlee broch 


measure 75 feet, and the enclosed court 40 feet in 
diameter, the height of the walls being about three feet. 
The entrance passage is on the east side and must have 
been closed by a door. At the main entrance was a 
guard room within the thickness of the wall, and on the 
south-west side there are the remains of a staircase which 
would lead to the upper galleries of the tower, sometimes 
five or six in number, the floor of one forming the roof of 
the other. The broch of Torwoodlee is thus larger than 
that of Mousa. The relics of the brochs show that their 
occupants hunted in the forests ; kept flocks and herds ; 
cultivated grain ; fished rivers and seas ; and were 
acquainted with the arts of weaving and pottery, metal, 
wood, and stone work. The relics of Torwoodlee broch 
consist mainly of pottery, glass, enamels, and iron imple- 

The broch of Torwoodlee seems to be the terminus 
of the Catrail, one of the most wonderful monuments of 
antiquity in the south of Scotland. It consists of a ditch 
with a double mound, one on each side, obliterated in 
many places, in others, distinct. Even where no trench 
or mound exists, its course can often be traced by the 
lighter shade of the grass, by the darker green of the 
young corn, or in winter, by the longer-lying snow. Its 
course, as it halves Selkirkshire in two, stretches over 
Tweed, Yarrow, and Ettrick for 50 miles from Tor- 
woodlee camp in the north-east of Selkirkshire to the 
slopes of Peel Fell in the Cheviots. Where it is perfect 
the width of the fosse from the summit of one mound to 
another, varies from 23^ feet to 18^ feet ; the width of the 

jfS' WallacesTrench f/j^M^ $&ribsHHr 

JB^P/t 1 ' "^C" "S^ 3&&t ' \ A 

m^nch m u,'r \ ^ 8m^t^ Pea ' // ?^rf" i n c d , 


Lin jfee Hill ~/ 


The Haining 

Sand \ Wedder \j pper 
Knows ( Lairs 

<^ Hill 

Line of Catrail 

Line of the Catrail through Selkirkshire 

P. P. S. 


bottom of the ditch is on an average six feet ; and the 
distance from the summit of the slope to the bottom is 
10 feet. Three theories have been advanced to explain 
the Catrail : (i) a line of defence by the Britons against 
the English ; (2) a territorial boundary between Anglian- 
Bernicia on the east and British Cumbria on the west ; 
(3) and best, a strategic road between the greater forts 
constructed by the Romanized Britons to check the English 

Lyne Camp was a castellum or fortified camp, probably 
on a Roman road leading to Antonine's Wall. It is 
situated on the plateau of a moraine about 100 feet above 
Lyne Water, towards which it slopes on the west and 
south. The north and east sides of the camp were 
protected by a morass, the west and south by the river and 
its sloping banks, and the east by a natural mound, now 
covered with trees. Two annexes, one on the north- 
west angle, the other on the south-west, filled up the 
vacant spaces between the edge of the marsh on the north 
and the slope on the south sides. On the east, towards 
which the camp faced, there were three lines of defence 
140 feet in width ; on the south the breadth of the 
fortifications was reduced to 1 20 feet, on the north-east 
(where the mounds are most clearly marked) to 85 feet ; 
on the north-west to 45 feet ; while on the south-west 
there was only one rampart with its trench. The 
variation in the width of the defences was dependent, of 
course, on the amount of natural protection afforded by 
the slope or by the marsh. There were no gates or 
barricades on the east, but there were gates on the north 




Lyne Roman Camp 

Explanation of Plan: a, a the Pretentura, (5, 3 the Retentura, c, d,e,/a. line 
of 4 (probably 5) stone buildings, c the Praetorium or Principia, d the 
officers' quarter buttressed portion next to c probably a horreum, e a 
horreum, /officers' quarters, the small square a pit, PP Porta Praetoria, 
PD Porta Decumana, V, P the Via Principalis, V, Q the Via Quintana, 
the dots at the gateways represent postholes, T a traverse opposite 
western entrance. (Mr James Curie, author of Newstead Fort and 
Camp, thinks that d probably consist of two buildings.) 




and south. The south entrance opened into the annex, 
from which there must have been a bridge. A short 
portion of a road remains leading north-east and then 
south-east from the eastern wall of the camp. In a pit 
in the courtyard of the annex to the south, were found 
the few relics that were discovered : some Samian ware, 
glass, nails, and two coins, a denarius of Titus (A.D. 79) 
and a brass sestertius of Trajan (A.D. 104-110). 

Standing stones or megaliths, of great antiquity, are 
found in Manor (a cup-marked stone) ; at Lour, also cup- 
marked ; at Dollar Law, Tweedsmuir, Sheriffmuir (Lyne), 

Roman Coin found at Bellanrig in Manor, 1910 

Obverse : ANTONINVS AVG. PIVS P.P.TR.P. i.e. Antoninus 
Augustus Pius, Father of his country with Tribunician Power. 
(Date, probably 145.) 

Reverse: COS. IIII. i.e. the fourth year of his consulship. The 
letters, S.C. also occur. 

Cardrona, "Warrior's Rest" (Yarrow). Some of these 
are no doubt monumental. The eleven stones, eight of 
which are standing and three lying down, on Blackhouse 
Heights, said to mark the " Douglas Tragedy," are 
according to Professor Veitch older than feudal times. 
The stones at "Warrior's Rest" were boldly, but without 


warrant, linked by Sir Walter Scott with the legend of 
the "Dowie Dens." 

Flint arrows, stone axes and hammers, mostly of other 
stone than flint ; bronze axes, flat, flanged, and socketed 
the three stages of their evolution have been found at 
various places, but mainly in the west. A food urn of 
rare and elegant design was found at Darnhall, a bronze 
caldron at Hattonknowe, a Roman patella at Stanhope, 
and gold ornaments at Shawhill. 

16. Architecture (a) Ecclesiastical. 

The earliest church buildings in Scotland were usually 
of wood and clay, resting upon stone foundations. Church 
settlements of a very early date existed in Peeblesshire at 
Stobo, Kingledoors, Glenholm and Drummelzier. K ingle- 
doors Chapel in Tweedsmuir was either founded by 
St Cuthbert or, like the last two, dedicated to him soon 
after his death in 687 A.D. Churches in the twelfth 
century existed at Peebles and Traquair ; and, if Selkirk 
means "Kirk of the .Shiels," in Ettrick Forest long before 
the twelfth century. But the remains of ancient churches 
within the shires are singularly rare and of little archi- 
tectural interest. 

The Church of St Andrew in Peebles was founded 
by Bishop Jocelin of Glasgow in 1195, in the reign of 
William the Lyon, and therefore belongs to the transition 
period of Norman to Early English. The walls were 
built of undressed whinstone ; and a tall square tower, 



" restored " by Sir William Chambers, at the west end 
of what must have been a spacious building, is all that 
now remains of the structure. In 1406 it was burned 
by Umfraville, " Robin Mend the Market," and nearly 
one hundred and fifty years afterwards it suffered when 
Hertford destroyed the town by fire. At the Reformation 

Tower of St Andrew's Parish Church, Peebles, 
before restoration 

in 1560 it was abandoned; and there is a tradition that 
Lambert, when besieging Neidpath Castle, stabled his 
horses in the church, which by that time had fallen into 

The Church of the Holy Cross was founded by 


Alexander III in 1261. In that year, says John of 
Fordun, a cross was found at Peebles, and near the 
cross an urn, with the relics of the martyr St Nicholas, 
supposed to have been massacred in the reign of Dio- 
cletian. Crowds of people flocked to the spot, and many 
miracles were performed. More than 200 years after, 
in the reign of James II, a monastery was added to the 
church. The unusual position of the monastery on the 
north side of the church, Dr Gunn supposes to be due 
to the fact that the niche containing the relics of St 
Nicholas was on the south wall of the church. The space 
opposite this side of the church would naturally be the 
resort of the crowds of pilgrims who resorted thither 
twice a year, at the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, 
and again at the Feast of the Finding of the Cross (which 
had been grafted on to the old pagan Beltane). The south 
side would therefore have been an inconvenient site for 
the monastery. Indeed, the practice of veneration con- 
tinued long after the Reformation, and as late as 1601 
the Minister and Bailies of Peebles report to the Pres- 
bytery that at this Beltane " there was no resorting of 
the people into the Cross Church to commit any sign 
of superstition there." At the Reformation the monastery 
was dissolved ; and the Cross Church, in succession to 
that of St Andrew, became the parish church. It was 
abandoned in 1783 for a new church, built on the Castle 
Hill at the west end of the High Street. Connected with 
the monastery was an almshouse and chapel of the Virgin. 
This almshouse formed a branch establishment of the 
principal hostel at Eshiels, near Horsburgh Castle the 


Hospital of SS. Leonard and Lawrence, which provided 
for the pilgrims who journeyed to Peebles from the east. 

Dr Gunn, author of the Books of the Church, has 
supplied the following useful summary : 

Early Church of St Mungo unrecorded. 

St Andrew's 1195. Burned 1549. Abandoned 1560. 

Cross Church. Founded 1261. Its Monastery 1473. Dis- 
solved 1560. Parish Church in succession to St Andrew's 1560. 

St Mary's. Founded 1363. Used as an Occasional Chapel 
of the Reformed Faith 1560-1780 (St Mary's stood west of 
St Andrew's). 

Chapel of the Castle of Peebles, c. 1153 to 1305. 

Chapel and Hospice of SS. Leonard and Lawrence at Eshiels, 

c. 1300-1560. 

Lyne Church, still in use, is situated on a gravel 
moraine east of the Roman Camp. The building mea- 
sures only 47^ feet by 15 feet, and was built in 1644 
by the Hay of Yester who was the first Earl of Tweed- 
dale, on the site of an earlier church. 

Stobo Parish Church, a Norman structure, consisting 
of three parts tower, nave, chancel the work of different 
periods, had considerable alterations made upon it in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The most serious 
injury inflicted on it was the entire destruction of the 
Norman chancel arch by the substitution of a modern 
pointed one when the building was restored in 1868. 
The sixteenth- and seventeenth-century features consist 
of a south porch, and a north aisle, which was barrel- 
vaulted, but is now in ruins. The belfry is of late 



design, as is also the roof. After the Reformation some 
of the doors and windows were built up, and the walls 
plastered. In 1 868 an old monumental tomb with canopy 
was removed, and two Norman windows were discovered. 
The Chapel of St Mary's, in Yarrow, situated on a 
terrace of rock south of Copper Law, about 200 feet 

Parish Church, Stobo 

(Drawn by Mr Alex. Blackivood) 

above the level of the loch, has left no traces except 
a small mound, not over 20 feet square, in the north 
angle of an enclosure. The oldest name of the church 
was St Marie of Fairmainshope, and in later times, 
St Marie of the Lowes, i.e. Lochs. According to the 
ballad The Douglas Tragedy, Lord William and Lady 


Margaret were buried in the church ; and according to 
the ballad The Gay Goshawk, another Lord William in this 
church roused his lady love from her death-like slumber 
on her bier. In 1559 tne church was attacked by 2OO 
men of the clan Scott, in search of their enemy Sir Peter 
Cranston, an incident commemorated in Scott's Lay of the 
Last Minstrel. 

The site of the primitive church of Selkirk is un- 
known ; the Abbey, however, begun by David I, is 
supposed to have been at the corner of High Street and 
Tower Street. A church was built in Selkirk in 1511- 
12, and another in its place in 1747. It was in the latter 
church, now a ruin, that the panels of the front gallery 
were ornamented with pictorial emblems of the various 
crafts of the burgh, whose deacons and quartermasters 
occupied the front seats of the gallery. The figure of 
Justice blind-folded with scales in her hand, and the 
motto "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord," 
advertised the piety and the integrity of the Merchant 
Company. The Tailors represented our first parents 
making clothes for themselves ; the Souters showed a 
fellow of the order of St Crispin measuring a lady's foot, 
the explanatory legend being : " How beautiful are thy 
feet with shoes, O Prince's daughter." 


17. Architecture (6) Military: Castles 
and Peels. 

The early castles of Peebles and Selkirk, as in other 
parts of Great Britain, were at first palisaded earth-works 
upon which were erected strongholds of timber. Hence 
Peel, which at first meant a wooden stockade, from the 
French pel, Latin palus, a stake, came to designate a forti- 
fication with a building inside it, the enclosure as distinct 
from the building being known as the barmkyn. This 
wooden building was strengthened with an exterior 
coating of turf and clay. To prevent this wall of turf 
and clay from collapsing, the rigid structure of timber 
was built with its four sides sloping inwards, and when 
stone and lime were substituted for wood and turf the 
pyramidal form was preserved. In 1535 every landed 
Borderer possessing 100 worth of land was compelled 
by law to build a barmkyn of stone and lime upon his 
heritage and lands, with a tower in the same if he thought 
fit. It was at this time, therefore, that most of the Border 
keeps of stone and lime were built. 

Of the first period (1200-1300) of military archi- 
tecture in Scotland, no examples exist in Peebles or 
Selkirk. A distinct break takes place between the thir- 
teenth- and the fourteenth-century type of castle. The 
country had been impoverished by the Wars of Inde- 
pendence. Besides, Bruce's policy was to build small 
and inexpensive strongholds, easy to replace and of little 
value to the English invader. The second period (1300- 
1400) is, therefore, characterized by small keeps, simple 


towers ; later by keeps of L-shaped plan ; and still later, 
or in the case of wealthy owners, by keeps of E (court- 
yard) plan. Tinnis Castle, near Drummelzier, so like 
a robber's castle on the Rhine, built in this century, is 
exceptional in having four round towers, one at each 
corner, united by curtain walls. Little remains of it 
except the foundations. 

Neidpath Castle was originally a peel tower, dating 
probably from the twelfth century. It belonged to the 
Fraser family and in the fourteenth century came into 
the hands of the Hays, afterwards earls of Tweeddale. 
In 1650 it was fortified by John Lord Yester, and be- 
sieged by Lambert. The castle, which is of L-shaped 
plan, is picturesquely situated in a wooded gorge on a 
rocky prominence overlooking the Tweed winding its 
way into the valley as it opens out towards Peebles. 
The walls, which form two oblique angles, are 10 to 
1 1 feet thick. The original door was on the south or 
precipitous side above the river, and the upper floors were 
reached by a spiral stair. The tower is divided into two 
principal compartments by a vault. There is also a vault 
near the level of the parapet, and probably another carried 
the roof. Each principal compartment was divided once 
more into two by wooden floors. The great hall was on 
the second floor, immediately above the central vault, and 
was 40 feet long by 21^ feet broad. The corners of the 
building are all rounded, and the parapet, also rounded, 
has no projecting bartizans. In the seventeenth century 
the castle was greatly altered by the second earl of 
Tweeddale. A courtyard was made to the front, east 


side, the entrance changed to the centre of this front, a 
wide staircase introduced, the top storey heightened, the 
battlements raised so as to contain small apartments, and 
the parapet fronting the courtyard left open, which was 

Neidpath Castle, Peebles 

probably the balcony whence the " Maid of Neidpath " 
viewed the return of her lover, whose failure to recognise 
her broke her heart. 

The third period (1400-1542) still had its simple 
keeps, of which Newark Castle is a fine example ; keeps 


with one or two wings ; and keeps enlarged into castles 
surrounding a courtyard. 

" Newark's stately tower 
Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower," 

four and a half miles from Selkirk. In contrast to an older 
castle, Newark, completed for James III in 1470, means 
" New Work," and is in a better state of preservation 

Newark Tower 

than the other strongholds in Yarrow. It was a royal 
hunting seat in the times of the Stewarts. After the 
battle of Philiphaugh, 100 prisoners were shot in its 
courtyard ; and it was occupied by Cromwell in 1650. 
The Duchess of Buccleuch, wife of Monmouth, resided 
here after his death, and it is during her time and in this 
castle that Scott makes the " Last Minstrel " sing his Lay. 
The castle is an oblong keep, 65 feet by 40 feet, with 


walls 10 feet thick and about 84 feet in height. It is 
surrounded by a barmkyn of irregular shape, about 150 
feet square. The first floor is noticeable as it has the 
hall at one end, and the kitchen at the other with a 
great fireplace having a seat-cupboard and two mural 

To the fourth period (1542-1700) most of the strong- 
holds in Peebles and Selkirk belong. These were mostly 
abandoned in the seventeenth century or developed into 
mansion houses. The castles which belong to the period 
are : Thirlestane, Gamescleuch, Dryhope, Blackhouse, 
Kirkhope, Oakwood, Barns, Castlehill, Posso, Horsburgh, 
Nether Horsburgh, Hutcheonfield all simple keeps ; 
Buckholm, Drummelzier, Cardrona, Haystoun House, 
have an additional wing added to one end of the main 

Drochil Castle is an example of the Z plan, having 
a tower at two of the diagonally opposite angles of the 
rectangular block so that its defenders might sweep with 
fire all its four sides at once. The castle has a magnifi- 
cent situation near the junction of the Tarth and the 
Lyne. It commands views northwards up the Lyne, 
westwards up the Tarth, south and east down Lyne valley 
towards the Tweed valley and the hills behind Hundles- 
hope. The castle is a transition building, and marks the 
change from the military peel tower with single tenement 
rooms to a double tenement building in which the military 
are less pronounced than the domestic features. The 
towers, for example, are small compared with the size 
of the building and the shot-holes have been made for 


musketry, not for cannon. A corridor \1\ feet wide on 
each storey divides the building into two blocks. The 
south block now consists of only one storey, but from 
the northern block it can be seen that the castle had 
four storeys with attics, each storey being reached by a 
circular staircase, which began on the ground floor at 
the front entrance. There were two entrances one 
at each end of the gallery on the ground floor, the west 
being the main one. Above this entrance are still to be 
seen in the tympanum the initials J. D. (James Douglas), 
the heart and the fetterlock, a D-shaped hobble for a 
horse, the badge of the Warden of the Marches. The 
ground floor contains the vaults and cellars, and in the 
N.E. angle a large kitchen with an immense fireplace 
and chimney still intact of equal width from floor to roof. 
The roof of the ground floor is vaulted, and the large hall 
above this vaulted roof in the south block was the dining 
room. Although the castle was unfinished when Morton 
was executed, it seems to have been occupied as a strong- 

Hallyards is an example of the T plan ; Elibank, 
Whytbank, Torwoodlee of the E or courtyard plan 
(Scottish type) ; Traquair of the courtyard plan (Re- 
naissance type), while Fairnilee shows development of a 
keep into a house and mansion. 

The situation of the keeps was chosen mainly for the 
purpose of giving and receiving fire signals. One fire 
meant that the enemy was approaching, two that he was 
coming indeed, and four " all burning together like 
candles" that he was in great force. The signals passed 

P. P. S, 


zigzag from one side of the river to the other up the 
main valley and its lateral streams till, having been seen 
all up Teviotdale, Ettrick, Yarrow, and Tweeddale, there 
gathered by early morning as many as 10,000 men at 
the rendezvous. 

The ground area of the peel-towers often did not 
exceed 20 feet square. Barns is 28 by 20 feet. The hall 
on the first floor is only 17^ by 14 feet. It is, therefore, 
not easy to explain how the owner of a small keep found 
accommodation for his family and retainers. Originally 
the first floor of the peel would be reached by a ladder, 
drawn up when the tower was closed. The ground 
chambers had always stone vaulted roofs. The bastel 
houses of Peebles, relics of which were to be seen a few 
years ago, had both stone vaulted roofs and outside stairs 
corresponding to the ladder of the peel. The entrance to 
the vaulted chamber of the peel was by a stout wooden 
door studded with bolts, and often protected by an iron 
"yett," the horizontal and vertical bars of which were 
interlaced to give it additional strength. The " yett " at 
Barns, probably the oldest in Scotland, is an example of 
this style of grating. In time the outside approach was 
dispensed with for a narrow spiral staircase from top to 
bottom of the tower, generally situated in one of its angles 
and sometimes in the thickness of the walls. The narrow 
slots in the walls, deeply splayed on the inside, were 
meant for arrows; the round holes for fire-arms. The 
outside of the round holes at Drochil are filleted so as 
to reduce the chance of shots getting inside, but deeply 
splayed on the inside so as to increase the angle of fire 




"Yett" at Barns Tower 


for the defenders. The bartizan was the narrow passage 
between the roof and the battlements. Here the warders 
kept watch, and here the defence was carried on. Newark 
and Kirkhope have a bartizan on all sides; Neidpath on 
west and east. Barns and Oakwood have none. The 
furnishings depended on the wealth and rank of their 
owners and on the period. Jamie Telfer had : 

"...naething in his house, 
But ae auld sword 

That hardly now wud fell a mouse"; 

but the Laird of Torwoodlee was robbed by raiders in 
1568 of ^1000 in gold and silver, two dozen silver 
spoons (each two ounce weight), bedding, napery and 
clothing, abuilzements and plenishing, worth the sum of 
5000 merks. 

18. Architecture (c) Domestic. 

As the need for defence decreased, domestic archi- 
tecture developed. The transition in Scotland was most 
pronounced in the reign of James VI. Peels were 
enlarged into L and E types of building. The castle 
designed for residence developed, as Drochil ; and later 
the seventeenth-century mansion house, as Traquair and 

In the Border keep, which had utility stamped upon 
it, the corbel was designed to bear the parapet ; the 
machiolations to allow guns to be fired from it ; the corner 
turrets to sweep with fire the sides of the building; and 
the gargoyles to carry off water from the parapets. But 


as the need for defence disappeared, these useful features 
of the building were converted to other purposes, or 
losing their significance, were employed simply as orna- 
ment : the turrets became chambers, the corbels were 
reduced till they became mere chequered bands, as at 
Drochil, the parapets were absorbed in the walls, and 
the bartizans disappeared, or became a balcony as at 
Neidpath. Hence the leading features of seventeenth- 
century architecture became picturesque turrets cornered 
out of angles, roofs high pitched with crow-stepped gables, 
and detail ornamentation with such Norman types as the 
cable, billet, and dog tooth, as seen at Traquair. The 
introduction of the Renaissance style was also charac- 
terized by a tendency towards uniformity of design, as 
seen at Fairnilee. Still later, in the eighteenth century, 
the period began to be marked by the absence of dormer 
windows, and by the introduction of the unbroken hori- 
zontal classic cornice at the eaves, as may be seen at the 

That most interesting mansion, the Glen, was origin- 
ally a farm-house, to which Playfair, the Edinburgh 
architect, designed additions. In 1852 Charles, afterwards 
Sir Charles Tennant, Baronet, of the Glen, purchased 
the estate and the mansion-house. The house was de- 
molished and the present building, in old Scottish baronial 
designed by David Bryce, was erected. 

The antique aspect of Traquair House or Palace has 
probably been better preserved than that of any other 
inhabited house in Scotland. Of Renaissance style and 
composed of several buildings, it received its present 



character from John, first Earl of Traquair (1628). The 
old castle forms the northern portion of the building. 
The house and offices make three sides of a square, about 
IOO feet either way, with a beautiful iron railing with 

Plan of Traquair House 

( The darkest portions are the oldest] 

stone pillars at intervals and an entrance gateway in the 
centre. The main building opposite this is four storeys 
high, with frontage to courtyard and outward or N.E. 
face, of about 122 feet. The side wings with attics are 


one storey high. On the N.W. side, which, owing to 
the fall of the ground has an additional storey, there 
are the stables and offices, and above, a chapel with 
sacristy. A high terrace, 17 feet wide, runs along the 
N.E. side of the building with stairs leading down about 
eight feet to a lower terrace, at either end of which there 
is a pavilion with an O. G. roof; a second stair leads 
down to the banks of the Quair Burn. The building 
belongs to three periods : first, the old castle on the 
north; then, the extension (1642) to the S.E., the whole 
width of the first ; finally, the low wings (1695), the 
terraces and pavilions and the grand entrance gateway. 
An avenue leads from the front southwards. It is now 
overgrown with grass, and has been closed for more than 
2OO years. The famous gateway which opened on to 
this avenue with its bears rampant and its fine hammered 
iron railing with ornament of fleur de lys is regarded as 
the prototype of the gateway at Tullyveolan in Scott's 
JVaverley, The interior of the house has been little 
changed since Stewart days. A room on the second floor 
of the N.E. part of the house has painted decorations on 
one of its walls scenes of Eastern life with floral scrolls, 
and scriptural quotations in old German lettering. 

Other buildings, interesting as they are, can only be 
mentioned. Darnhall with its fine avenue of limes is 
of Renaissance type, having the appearance of a French 
chateau. In the seventeenth century, next to Traquair, 
it was the finest mansion house in Peeblesshire. Dawyck, 
surrounded by its beautiful and historic woods and built 
by Sir James Naesmyth early in the eighteenth century, 



was in 1864 replaced by the present mansion house of 
Scottish baronial design. Opposite to it is Stobo Castle, 
for long the seat of the Montgomery family. Built in 
1805-11 by James A. Elliot and situated on an eminence 
overlooking the Tweed, it presents a bold and striking 
effect. Halmyre House, Scottish baronial, near the Dead- 

Traquair House 

burn, was originally a fortalice, part of which is preserved 
in the lower storey. Lamancha, formerly the Grange, was 
built by Robert Hamilton in 1663. It was sold to the 
Dundonald family and its name changed to Lamancha 
by Alexander Cochrane, son of the eighth Earl of Dun- 
donald, and an Admiral of the Fleet. The Whim, 



Renaissance, built by Archibald Earl of Islay (1730), 
is a massive square, three-storey house. Macbie Hill, 
adjoining Halmyre, was in the sixteenth century a Border 
keep. At this period it was known as Coitcoit, according 
to Nennius the place of King Arthur's seventh battle. 
The house, whose name was softened to Coldcoat (Coud- 
coat), was purchased by William Montgomery of Ayrshire 

Stobo Castle 

and the name changed by him to Macbie Hill, which 
became the original home of the Montgomeries of 
Peeblesshire. Spitalhaugh, Scottish baronial, came into 
the possession of the Fergusson family in 1833, after 
having passed successively through the hands of the 
Douglases, the Hays, and the Murrays of Blackbarony. 
Returning now to Selkirkshire, we must note Ashiesteel 
on the south bank of the Tweed, between Walkerburn 



and Clovenfords. It was originally a peel, and then a 
"decent farm house." It is now a low straggling white- 
washed building, considerably enlarged since Scott occupied 
it. The older walls are extremely thick. In the grounds 
is the "Shirra's seat," where Sir Walter Scott wrote 
much of Marmion. Fairnilee, dating back to the fifteenth 

Bowhill, Selkirk 

century when it was held by the Douglases and the Kerrs, 
in 1700 came into the hands of Robert Rutherford, one 
of whose daughters was the famous Alison. The house 
is a long parallelogram, with entrance door in centre and 
turrets at each end, ornamented with dog tooth and other 
" revived " ornaments. Other mansion houses in the 


vicinity are the new mansion house of Fairnilee, on the 
opposite side of the Tweed, and the old Castle of Tor- 
woodlee, the scene of one of the last Border raids in 1568. 
The Haining, near Selkirk, built like an Italian pa/azzo, is 
one of the finest mansion houses, and is surrounded by 
perhaps the most beautifully designed gardens and policies 
in the south of Scotland. The grounds are ornamented 
with statuary by Canova, and the design of house, gardens, 
terraces, lake, parks and woods combined with picturesque 
surroundings forms a most harmonious composition. Phi- 
liphaugh in 1792 was an old house with columbarium, 
orchards and planting. The modern mansion, Scottish 
baronial, is situated at the foot of a beautifully wooded 
hill. It has fine terraces along its front, whence extensive 
views may be had of Yarrow and the country beyond. 
Bowhill, a name dear to every lover of Scott and the 
residence of the Dukes of Buccleuch, is built in Re- 
naissance style. Previous to 1455 it belonged to the 
Douglases, and in the eighteenth century it was acquired 
by the Dukes of Buccleuch. Duke Charles extended 
the house and gave it its present appearance. Scott with 
the affection of a retainer has made the setting of Bowhill 
for ever famous : 

" When summer smiled on sweet Bowhill, 
And July's eve, with balmy breath, 
Waved the blue-bells on Newark heath ; 
When throstles sung on Harehead-shaw, 
And corn was green on Carterhaugh, 
And flourished, broad, Blackandro's oak, 
The aged Harper's soul awoke." 


The mansion of Thirlestane, home of the famous Napier 
family and erected in 1840 in Scottish baronial design, is 
finely situated amongst lofty plantations on the watershed 
between Yarrow and Ettrick about two miles above 

19. Communications Past and Present. 

In early times communications between different 
localities followed the valleys and rivers. In Peebles and 
Selkirk, then, we find the main roads lying in the longi- 
tudinal valleys and the chief transverse valleys. Starting 
from Galashiels the longitudinal routes stretch up the 
valleys of the Tweed, Yarrow, and Ettrick to the sources 
of these streams, and then cross the watershed into 
Annandale, Eskdale, or Clydesdale. The main road 
from Galashiels via Peebles to Broughton, where the road 
turns to the left up Tweedsmuir and, crossing the 
watershed into Annandale by the Devil's Beef Tub, 
continues through Moffat. Turning east, it follows the 
Moffat Water to the watershed at Birkhill, descends into 
Megget, a side valley opening into Yarrow at Capper- 
cleuch, thence to Tibbie Shiel's inn with Selkirk on the 
right, and on to Galashiels. Starting once more at 
Galashiels, the main Carlisle route passes up the valley 
of Ettrick to Selkirk, and crosses Teviot watershed by 
Ashkirk to Hawick. A parallel route follows the valley 
of the Ettrick and, passing up Tima Water, crosses the 
boundary into Eskdale down to Langholm. Numerous 



cross roads join these longitudinal routes, over the various 
watersheds: (i) Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick; (2) Tweed 
and Forth ; (3) Ettrick, Teviot and Solway ; (4) Yarrow 
and Ettrick. 

The obvious route by valley and river was in early 
days often departed from. The hillsides were chosen, 
sometimes because drier than the flooded or marshy 

Cacra Bank, Ettrick 

Route between Ettrick and Teviot {Borthwick Water) 

bottoms, sometimes for scouting or for safety, sometimes 
for other reasons. Let us trace some of these roads. 
The road over the bridge connecting Pirn Hill with 
Caerlee Hill passes through the Glenormiston Estate 
along the south-west slope of Lee Pen to Nether Hors- 
burgh. The road between Peebles and Edinburgh up 
the lateral valley of the Eddleston water proceeded up 


hill to Venlaw House. Thence with occasional descents, 
it passed along the ridge of heights flanking the valley till 
it crossed the boundary between Peeblesshire and Mid- 
lothian, near Portmore. The steepest ascents were at 
Venlaw and Windylaws ; and four horses were required 
to draw an ordinary travelling vehicle along this road, the 
rate of progress being three miles an hour. The present 
road was made in 1770. The old Neidpath road struck 
up the slope towards Jedderfield, skirting the heights till 
nearly opposite to Edderston farm, where it came down 
to the present level. It was probably on account of this 
difficult road by Neidpath and the want of bridges on 
the lower part of the Lyne that the old route between 
Tweeddaie and Clydesdale in the seventeenth century 
came by way of B rough ton and Drummelzier. This 
road crossed the Tweed above Drummelzier by a ford, 
and was thereafter continued through Manor parish and 
over the Sware "or Swire" to Peebles. Minchmoor 
road cuts directly by Traquair over the watershed 
between Tweed and Yarrow in a line for Selkirk, 
whereas the present route follows the valley to Caddon- 
foot and Yair Bridge round behind Sunderland Hall and 
thence across the Ettrick. The Minchmoor track, which 
is now a bridle path, has branches leading towards 
Yarrowford on the right and Ashiesteel on the left, while 
the main track descends into the valley behind Philip- 
haugh Farm. The road intersects " Wallace's Trench " 
and enters Selkirkshire 1800 feet above sea-level. Near 
the summit behind Traquair it passes a spring called the 
" Cheese Well," haunted by the fairies. Along the 
p. P. s. 8 



The Thief s Road 


Minchmoor road the Peebles millers in the olden days 
conveyed supplies of meal on pack-horses to Selkirk. In 
1769 the Earl of Traquair, on applying to the Peebles 
Town Council for a subscription to assist in building 
a bridge over the Quair, astutely reminded the Council 
of this fact, and was rewarded with the sum of six 
guineas. " Minchmoor " in Dr John Brown's Horae 
Subsedvae forms the subject of one of his most delightful 

There are also transverse hill-roads running mainly 
north and south over the watersheds. The Drove Road 
enters the county of Peebles in the north-west corner of 
Linton parish, near the Cauldstane Slap, crosses Hamilton 
Hill north-west of the town, passes through Peebles by 
the "Gipsies' Glen," runs along the ridge between Tweed 
and Glensax, and descends behind the Glen, continuing 
thence towards Yarrow and the Borders of England. 
Such roads in ancient times were exempt from the 
burdens affecting either parish or turnpike roads, and on 
passing through Peebles the cattle or sheep with their 
keepers were permitted for a small fee to rest on what 
was once known as the Kingsmuir, a spot now occupied 
by the Caledonian Station. Another well-known road 
over the backbone of the country, further up the valley, 
is the Manor Road following the straight valley right 
up to the steep ridge of Shielhope and Norman Law. 
Thence up the burn by Bitch Craig (1600 feet), it 
reaches St Mary's Loch. Other roads of the sort are 
numerous. But next to Minchmoor the most famous 
of all these hill roads is the "Thief's Road." This is a 




broad, flattened, well-marked track without dyke or ditch, 
so called because it was used by the Border thieves who 
came and went between the upper reaches of Ettrick and 
Tweeddale. From the Merecleugh Head or Rodono 
Hill it passes by the Craigierig Burn, Dollar Law and 
Scrape to Stobo, a branch leading off to Drummelzier. 
Below Stobo it crosses the Tweed, and it is said that 

Bridge at Ettrick Bridge End 

it can be traced through the Pentlands into Midlothian. 
From Rodono Hill it passes over to Ettrick, where it 
is known as the " Bridle path," and probably leads into 
the wilds of Liddesdale. The track is sometimes known 
as the " King's Road," because James V went by this 
route to arrest William Cockburn and Adam Scott. 
In early days numerous Acts of Parliament were 



passed to improve the roads. According to Boston the 
roads in Ettrick in the middle of the seventeenth century 
were little better than the channel of a river, being 
impassable by travellers on horseback, and altogether 
impracticable to wheeled carriages. In 1719 all the able- 
bodied men in every district had to give six days' labour in 
improving the highways. Roads made or improved by 
this means were called " Statute Labour Roads." But it 
was not till the close of the eighteenth century that roads 
and bridges were put into a proper condition. This was 
done by the Turnpike Act of 1751. 

Bridges more than roads appealed to the liberality of 
individuals and churches in 
early times, and their erection 
was sometimes due to pious 
founders or to the vows of 
travellers. The first bridge 
over Ettrick was built at 
Ettrick Bridge End as the 
result of a vow by Wat o' 
Harden. A captive child was 
drowned as he crossed the 
ford on his return from a raid, and he vowed to build 
a bridge so that the one lost life might be the means 
of saving hundreds. On a stone in this bridge was 
carved the Harden coat-of-arms : a crescent moon with 
the motto Cornua Reparablt Phoebe. Part of this bridge 
fell in 1746, and was demolished in 1777 by a flood. A 
new bridge was built half a mile further up, and the stone 
with the Harden coat-of-arms transferred to it. Peebles 

Old stone with Harden's 


bridge, built of wood, towards the end of the fifteenth 
century, was a century later rebuilt of stone. In 1834 
it was widened, and in 1890 it was re-built a second 
time. The various stages of its growth can be seen 
beneath the arches. At one time Peebles bridge and 
Berwick bridge were the only two over the Tweed from 
Peebles to Berwick. One of the largest single-span 
bridges in Scotland is that over the Tweed at Ashiesteel. 
Manor bridge at Manorfoot was built in 1702 out of the 
vacant stipend of the parish, " a most necessar pious use." 
The inscription states that the bridge was erected by Lord 
William Douglas, but omits to mention that it was done 
out of church property. Selkirk bridge over the Ettrick 
was built in 1778 and enlarged 1881. 

Selkirkshire has only one short branch railway line 
(6^ miles) joining the Midland route at Galashiels. 
Peeblesshire has three branch lines, one connecting with 
the N. B. R. up the Eddleston Valley at Millerhill ; the 
other connecting with the C. R. up the Tweed Valley, 
via Broughton, at Symington ; the third connecting Lead- 
burn with Dolphinton on the boundary between Peebles 
and Lanark. The N. B. branch to Peebles is continued 
to Galashiels via Innerleithen. 

20. Administration and Divisions. 

Scotland in the twelfth century was divided into 
twenty-three sherifFdoms, of which Peebles and Selkirk 
were two. The sheriff, who was generally some high 


nobleman, was responsible to the King for law and order 
in his district. The sheriff frequently delegated the 
active part of his duties to a deputy, and the honorary 
office as a rule became hereditary. For many years the 
Murrays of Philiphaugh were hereditary sheriffs of 
Selkirkshire. When, therefore, in 1747 hereditary juris- 
dictions were abolished, compensation was paid to the 
persons holding these rights. Murray of Philiphaugh 
received 4000 ; and Lord William, Earl of March, as 
hereditary sheriff of Tweeddale, ^3418 45. ^d. At the 
same time the office of sheriff was vested in the Crown, 
which was empowered to appoint a sheriff-depute (the 
sheriff principal), who in turn appointed a sheriff-substitute 
(the resident county magistrate). The appointment of 
sheriff-substitute has since been entrusted to the Crown. 
The depute for Peebleshire is also sheriff of the Lothians ; 
and the depute for Selkirkshire combines in his sheriffdom 
the neighbouring counties of Roxburgh and Berwick. 

Previous to 1889 county affairs were managed by 
the Commissioners of Supply, the Road Trustees, the* 
Local Authority, the Justices of the Peace, the Police 
Committee. The Local Government Act of that year 
transferred the powers and duties of these authorities in 
whole or part to the County Councils. The Commis- 
sioners of Supply, appointed originally in 1667, received 
their name from the fact that they levied and collected 
the u cess" or land tax as supply to the Sovereign. Prior 
to 1889 they had also to appoint the county officials and 
to maintain a force of police. The Commissioners, who 
generally speaking comprised the landowners of the 


district, still meet once a year ; but all the business they 
transact is to elect a convener, and to concur with the 
County Council in appointing the Standing Joint Com- 
mittee for Police. 

The Lord-Lieutenant is the military representative of 
the Crown, and it is his duty to select persons for the 
Commission of the Peace. In this latter duty he is 
now assisted by a Local Committee. 

Peeblesshire contains the following parishes : Brough- 
ton, Glenholm and Kilbucho, Innerleithen, Drummelzier, 
Eddleston, Kirkurd, Lyne, Manor, Newlands, Peebles, 
Skirling, Stobo, Traquair, Tweedsmuir, West Linton. 
The Selkirkshire parishes are : Ashkirk, Caddonfoot, 
Ettrick, Galashiels, Selkirk, Kirkhope, Yarrow and part 
of Melrose. 

Since 1894 Parish Councils have existed for various 
local purposes. They administer the poor law, levy 
poor and school rates, take charge of the registration of 
births, marriages and deaths, and so on. Primary educa- 
tion is managed by School Boards. With the extension 
of secondary education it was found that the burgh of the 
parish was too restricted an area for its administration. 
County Committees, otherwise known as Secondary 
Education Committees, were therefore instituted, to 
co-operate with School Boards in the matter of secondary 
education ; and they also share the management of the 
training of teachers. 

Peebles and Selkirk are ancient royal burghs, managing 
their own affairs, under royal charter, by provost, bailies 
and councillors. Galashiels was erected a burgh of 


barony in 1599, anc ^ became a parliamentary burgh in 
1868. In 1869 Innerleithen was made a police burgh. 
The burgh of Peebles was represented in the Scottish 
Parliament as early as the reign of David II ; the burgh 

Seal of the Royal Burgh of Peebles, Dec. 15, 1473 

of Selkirk was first represented in 1469. Neither county 
seems to have had a member till the seventeenth century. 
Various fluctuations, both in burgh and in county repre- 
sentation, took place in the seventeenth century and the 


eighteenth. In 1831 the proposal to unite the counties 
of Peebles and Selkirk as one constituency was so 
strenuously resisted by the Selkirkshire Commissioners of 
Supply that the proposal was dropped. By the Reform 
Act of 1832 Peebles and Selkirk were merged with their 
respective counties. In 1868, however, Selkirk, Hawick 
and Galashiels were formed into the Hawick Burghs, and 
known as the "Border Burghs," have since then returned 
one member, while the counties of Peebles and Selkirk 
were united in one constituency, returning one member. 

21. The Roll of Honour. 

The typical Borderer was a fighter and adventurer, and 
out of his deeds of raid and combat grew the Ballad 
literature of the Border. Most of the great names of 
the past are therefore associated either with its warfare or 
its poetry. 

Sir Simon Fraser, the friend and probably the kinsman 
of Wallace, fought at first on the side of the English. 
But in 1301 he definitely cast in his lot with the Scottish 
party, and with Comyn in 1303 won the battle of Roslin. 
In 1304 on Eraser's own estate at Happrew in Peebles- 
shire, Wallace and he were defeated by the English. In 
1306 he fought with Bruce at Methven, where he 
saved the king's life. Shortly afterwards, having been 
captured, he was executed in the same horrible way as 
Wallace, his handsome appearance and noble bearing 
compelling the pity and admiration of the spectators. 


Bruce's supporters, the Good Sir James and William 
Douglas, the Knight of Liddesdale, have already been 
mentioned. After Bannockburn Ettrick Forest came into 
the possession of the Douglases. James the second Earl 
of Douglas, was the hero of Chevy Chase, and the dead 
Douglas that won the field. The fourth Earl died at 
Verneuil, the sixth was murdered in Edinburgh Castle. 
The eighth was slain at Stirling, and the ninth defeated in 
battle at Arkinholm by their implacable foe James II. 

Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd in Peeblesshire was laird 

of Buccleuch in Ettrick, when he fought against the 

Black Douglases at Arkinholm; and the Sir Walter Scott, 

who succeeded his father in 1574, became the first peer 

of the family, as Lord Scott of Buccleuch. Buccleuch, 

a typical Borderer and the hero of the ballads, Jamie 

Telfer and Kinmont Willie, was the man who when asked 

by Queen Elizabeth how he dared to break into her 

castle of Carlisle, replied : " Madam, what is there that 

a man will not dare to do?" Wat o' Harden, the typical 

Border Freebooter, is associated with Selkirkshire through 

his marriage with Mary Scott of Dryhope Tower, " the 

Flower of Yarrow," as famous for her beauty as Wat 

was for his courage. He was one of the bold band who 

recovered Jamie Telfer's kye and broke the gaol to rescue 

Kinmont Willie. His principal residences in Selkirkshire 

were Oakwood Tower and Kirkhope Tower. His were 

the spurs, now in the possession of his descendant, Lord 

Murray of Elibank, which adorned the dish when the larder 

was empty ; and it was his son Willie Scott who, caught 

by Gideon Murray at Elibank on a reiving expedition, 


afterwards married Gideon's daughter, Agnes Murray. 
The story that Willie Scott got his choice of marrying 
" Muckle mou'd Meg" or being hanged on the gallows 
tree, was thought to be disproved when their marriage 
settlement, a document nine feet long, was discovered. 
But the story and the settlement are not inconsistent ; 
if the hero reluctantly promised marriage to escape a 
hanging, the promise may not have been fulfilled till the 
marriage contract was drawn up. 

The " Outlaw Murray " of the ballad belonged to 
what was till recent times the oldest family in Selkirk- 
shire. The ballad is supposed to refer to John Murray, 
the eighth laird of Philiphaugh, and the scene is Newark. 
The Scotts and the Murrays were at feud, and they and 
other enemies were thought to have prompted the king 
to make his expedition against the outlaws. The 
Murrays of Peeblesshire, of the same stock as those of 
the Forest, come most prominently into notice in the 
sixteenth century. John Murray, the eighth laird of 
Blackbarony, knighted in 1592, was known as the first in 
the district to plant trees and build dry-stone dykes. 
Hence his name of " John the Dyker." His third son 
Gideon was father to "Muckle mou'd Meg." Although 
he could not write his own name, he became Treasurer 
Depute of Scotland. He had a great liking for architec- 
ture and building ; and during his tenure of office he had 
all the royal palaces and castles in Scotland overhauled. 
Having fallen into disfavour with James, he was sent to 
prison, where he died of a broken heart. Sir Gideon's 
son was first Lord Elibank, and a great-great-grandson, 


the Hon. James Murray, was first Governor-General of 
Canada in 1763. Besieged in 1781 in Minorca, he was 
offered by the French general a bribe of 100,000 to 
surrender but contemptuously refused it, and yielded only 
when his men were dying of starvation. Another 
Murray, Alexander Murray of Cringletie, served under 
Wolfe at Quebec, where he behaved with great gallantry. 
Murray was as modest as he was brave. When Benjamin 
West was painting the famous picture of the Death of 
Wolfe, he requested Murray to pose for one of the 
figures. But Murray's answer was : " No ! No ! I was 
not by, I was leading the left." Murray of Broughton, 
Prince Charles's Secretary, was the ablest administrator, 
among the Jacobites of the Forty-five, and the arch- 
traitor of their cause. 

From the sixth Lord Napier of Thirlestane sprang 
many renowned admirals and generals. William John, 
eighth Lord Napier, fought at Trafalgar and at Fort 
Roquette, captured a French privateer, at Almeria cut 
out a French vessel within half range of 50 guns, was 
made prisoner at Gibraltar, and after more active service 
returned home to Ettrick, where he betook himself to 
farming, historical and antiquarian pursuits. Francis, 
ninth Lord Napier, after a distinguished diplomatic career, 
was appointed Governor of Madras in 1866, and on the 
assassination of Lord Mayo became acting Governor- 
General of India. He was also a renowned writer and 

More noted for craft than for courage, and blighted 
with the fate of the dynasty whose name they bore, were 


the Stewarts of Traquair. Sir John Stewart of Traquair 
was made a peer by Charles I in 1628, and took a leading 
part in the Covenanting " troubles." He refused to risk 
his life at Philiphaugh ; but, commanding a troop of horse 
in the Civil War (1648), he was captured. Four years 
afterwards he was released to find that his son had seized 
his estates. His remaining years were spent in poverty 
and disgrace. Dying in 1659, ne was buried like a 
pauper, a shoemaker in pity lending his apron for a 

George Pringle of Torwoodlee, a scion of the Pringles 
of Selkirkshire, a well-known Border family, was 
appointed sheriff of Selkirk by Richard Cromwell in 
1659. On the Restoration he was pardoned but 
heavily fined. He afforded succour to the Covenanters, 
assisted the Earl of Argyll to escape to Holland (1681) 
and, being himself charged with complicity in the Rye- 
house Plot, fled with Patrick Hume. In Holland Pringle 
was one of the council of twelve for the recovery of 
the rights and liberties of Scotland, and one of the com- 
mittee of seven who planned Argyll's invasion. In 1689 
he, along with Scott of Harden, represented Selkirkshire 
in the Scottish Convention which offered the crown to 
William and Mary. His estates were restored ; but, 
worn out with his hardships, he died the same year. 

With a taste for natural science, Mungo Park (1771- 
1806), son of a Foulshiels farmer, inherited the Borderer's 
love of adventure. Educated at Selkirk Grammar 
School, he studied medicine, and sailed as surgeon to 
Sumatra. In 1795 he went to explore the Niger region. 



This made him famous, and his Travels in the Interior 
of Africa is still a classic. He settled in Peebles as a 

Mungo Park 

medical practitioner, but tired of the life and returned to 
the Niger, where he was drowned. 


Though Michael Scott the Wizard (1175-1235) has 
only a supposed connexion with Selkirkshire, his name 
and fame are wedded with its history and literature. As 
a student of science and magic he had a European repu- 
tation : 

" When, in Salamanca's cave, 
Him listed his magic wand to wave 

The bells would ring in Notre Dame." 

He was tutor to the Emperor Frederick II, and court 
physician and astrologer at Palermo. Returning to 
Scotland in 1230, he died about five years afterwards, and 
is buried, says tradition, in Melrose Abbey. His reputed 
abode was Oakwood Tower ; but this Border keep was 
not built till 300 years after the wizard's death. Dante 
has figured him in Purgatory with his head turned round 
looking backward because in life he had been a diviner. 

The writers of the numerous old ballads are all 
unnamed save Nicol Burne, author of Leader Haughs and 
Yarrow. He is supposed to have been the foundling 
whom Mary Scott discovered forgotten amongst the 
baggage after the return of her husband, Wat o' Harden, 
from a raid in Northumberland. 

" He nameless as the race from which he sprung 
Saved other names and left his own unsung." 

But, known or unknown, the succession of poets has 
never failed. Robert Crawford (1695-1732) was author 
of Tweedside and of The Bush aboon Traquair. Hamilton 
of Bangour (17041754) wrote the Braes o Yarrow, the 
measure of which was imitated by Wordsworth in the 


Yarrow poems. Willie Laidlaw (1780-1845), born at 
Blackhouse in Selkirkshire, was the author of the pathetic 
lyric Lucy's Flittin. Alison Rutherford (Mrs Cockburn), 
born at Fairnilee in 1712 and educated in Edinburgh, 
where she soon became renowned for her wit and beauty, 
was in very truth a nymph of the "Forest" and a 
" Maid of Athens." She was the authoress of the 
immortal Flowers of the Forest. 

Sir Walter Scott, greatest of the Border minstrels and 
best of men, was, though born in Edinburgh, closely 
associated with Selkirkshire, by descent on the father's 
side from Wat o' Harden and on the mother's from the 
Rev. John Rutherford of Yarrow, by his official position 
as sheriff of the county, and by residence at Ashiesteel. 
The scenery, the people, the life, the history, the tradi- 
tions of Selkirk and Peebles all influenced Scott and 
Scott's work. " If no country ever owed so much for its 
fame to one man as Scotland to Sir Walter Scott, no part 
of it has so earned distinction through his notice as 
Selkirkshire." The Minstrelsy is full of Selkirk influences, 
Marmion was written and waverley was begun at Ashie- 
steel. Scott's pictorial power is finely displayed in local 
scenes as : " Tweedside in November " (Marm'ion, intro- 
duction to canto i) ; " Yarrow " (introduction to cantos 
iv and v) ; "A Snowstorm amongst the Hills " (canto 
iv) ; and, one of the best, " St Mary's Loch in Calm " 
(introduction to canto ii). His novels are full of allusions 
to places and persons in the shires, and two of them, 
St Ronan's Well and The Black Dwarf, deal especially 
with the district. 

p. P. s. 9 



James Hogg, " the Ettrick Shepherd," was born in 
1770, and, with few and short migrations, lived in 

Hogg's Monument at St Mary's Loch 

Selkirkshire all his life of sixty-five years as a shep- 
herd and as a sheep farmer. He said he preferred a 


Border fair to a King's coronation. His first important 
work was The Mountain Bard. His masterpiece is The 
Queen's Wake, but his exquisite song, When the kye comes 
hame must not be forgotten. Though far below Burns 
as a poet, " there is a marked individuality in the shep- 
herd's songs and poems ; he was a singer by genuine 
impulse, and there was an open-air freshness in his note." 
James Nicol (1769-1819), minister of Traquair, wrote 
Where Quair rins sweet amang the Flouirs ; and Thomas 
Smibert (1810-1834), a doctor and a native of Peebles, 
the Scottish Widow's Lament. Professor John Wilson, 
"Christopher North" (1785-1854), was author of 39 
out of 70 of the NocteSj and the friend of Wordsworth 
and of Hogg. Thomas Tod Stoddart (1810-1880) 
in his fishing songs praises Lyne, Manor, Yarrow, 
Gala, Tweed. Thomas Pringle (1789-1834) wrote his 
Autumnal Excursion, inspired by a visit to St Mary's 
Loch. Another and finer Bush aboon Traquair was 
written by Principal Shairp (1819-1885). The Rev. 
Dr Russell in his Reminiscences and the Rev. Dr Borland 
in his Anthologies have carried on the literary tradition of 
Yarrow. John Veitch, a disciple of Scott and Words- 
worth, was born in Peebles, 1829, and died there, 1894. 
He was professor of Logic at St Andrews and at Glasgow. 
Among his writings associated with his native district are 
Tweed and other Poems and his History and Poetry of the 
Scottish Border the standard book on the subject. James 
Brown (1852-1904), a Selkirk manufacturer, under the 
nom de plume of J. B. Selkirk, wrote Selkirk after Flodden 
and O Yarrow garlanded with rhyme. As a poet and a 



man of letters, Andrew Lang (1844-1912), is the most 
distinguished son of Selkirkshire in modern times. Born 
at Selkirk, where he spent his childhood, he early dis- 
played a bent towards literary pursuits. In range and 
productiveness he has had no rivals in Great Britain, 
and has even been seriously regarded as a society of 
authors. History, poetry, biography, belles-lettres, and 
comparative religion he treated with learning, liveliness 
and interest. His love for his native district has been 
beautifully expressed in Twilight on Tweed and Sunset 
on Yarrow. 

The brothers William and Robert Chambers, the 
publishers, are the most eminent men of letters of modern 
times belonging to Peeblesshire. They were born at 
Peebles, William in 1800, Robert in 1802. In 1832 
William started Chambers 's Edinburgh Journal. In 1859 
he founded the Chambers Institute in Peebles. He was 
Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and carried out at his own 
cost the restoration of St Giles' Cathedral. He died in 
1883. His History of Peeblesshire is the standard book 
on the subject. Robert's Festiges of Creation was an 
anticipation of Darwin's Origin of Species. His numerous 
other volumes include History of the Rebellions in Scot- 
land^ Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen, The Life and Works 
of Robert Burns. Henry Calderwood (1830-1899), 
minister in Edinburgh and professor of Moral Philosophy, 
wrote Philosophy of the Infinite and Mind and Brain. 
James Nicol, professor of Natural Philosophy in the 
University of Aberdeen, was the first discoverer of 
graptolites in the greywacke of the district. James 

Andrew Lang 


Wilson, editor of the Border Advertiser, contributed to 
the elucidation of Professor Lapworth's theory regarding 
the Silurian formation of the Southern Uplands. 

In law and politics there are also eminent names. 
Andrew Pringle (Lord Alemoor), the son of John Pringle 
of the Raining, a senator of the College of Justice, was 
successively Sheriff of Selkirk, Solicitor-General for Scot- 
land and a judge of the Court of Session. Sir James 
Montgomery's name is honourably associated with land 
reform in the eighteenth century. The second son of 
William Montgomery of Macbie Hill, he was successively 
Sheriff of Peeblesshire, Solicitor-General, Lord Advocate, 
and Baron of the Exchequer of Scotland. In 1745 
he purchased the estate of Stanhope and became an 
" Improver." Later he bought the Whim from the 
Duke of Argyll, and found as much wine in the cellar 
as paid for the estate. He was the author of the Entail 
Act, so advantageous to agricultural progress in Scotland. 
Montgomery also took an active part in the Parliamen- 
tary abolition of serfdom in Scotland. Macqueen of 
Braxfield was of a different type. A ferocious partisan 
in politics, he acted as a sort of Judge Jeffreys for the 
reactionary government of the period, circa 1793, in its 
efforts to repress the movement for political reform. 
Forbes Mackenzie of Portmore was M.P. for the county 
in 1830, and was responsible for the Forbes Mackenzie 
Act, the first important measure of licensing reform, 
which would have been unnecessary had every Scottish 
hostess followed the precepts and practice of " Meg 
Dods " of the Cleikum Inn at Peebles, who according 

Professor George Lawson 


to Scott in St Ronans Well discouraged late hours and 
deep potations. 

Some of the most distinguished names in the history 
of the Scottish Church for the past 400 years are 
associated with the two shires. John Welsh (1568- 
1622), the famous preacher, in his youth consorted 
with the thieves of Liddesdale. He was minister of 
Selkirk, of Kirkcudbright and of Ayr. After im- 
prisonment, he was banished and went to France, 
where he became minister to the Huguenots at St Jean 
d'Angley. Another famous preacher was Thomas 
Boston, appointed to Ettrick in 1707. Notable books of 
his are the Fourfold State, The Crook in the Lot, and his 
autobiography. Professor Lawson was born at Boghouse, 
Peeblesshire, and for fifty years had charge of the Seces- 
sion Church at Selkirk. One of his students, John Lee, 
joining the Church of Scotland, was appointed minister of 
Peebles, then professor of Church History at St Andrews, 
and finally Principal of Edinburgh University. Professor 
John Ker (1816-1886), born at the Bield, Tweedsmuir, 
became one of the most brilliant preachers of the United 
Presbyterian Church. 

Some of those who did much to promote the woollen 
industry in the district were Dickson of Peebles, the first 
manufacturer to make shepherd-tartan trousers, the origin 
of checked Tweeds; Murray of Galashiels, who brought 
Australian wool into vogue ; Mercer, " the enterprising 
pioneer of the local industry" in the use of machinery; 
and George Roberts, who introduced a set of carding 
engines, an American invention. 


(The figures in brackets after each name give the population in 
1911, and those at the end of each section are references 
to pages in the text.) 


Broughton (pa. 668), situated where the Tweed flowing 
north from Tweedsmuir turns eastward. There are many British 
forts in the neighbourhood and relics of the bronze period have 
been frequently found, (pp. 8, 10, 13, 58, 76, 79, 111, 113, 118, 

Cardrona, a small hamlet in the parish of Traquair midway 
between Peebles and Innerleithen. (pp. 33, 41, 49, 79, 84, 95.) 

Carlops, in West Linton parish three miles N.E. of West 
Linton. Its old name was Carlynlippis and it was from 1334 
to 1357 one of the landmarks of the northern boundary of 
England, which at that time included part of Peeblesshire. 
" Habbie's Howe" near Carlops in the valley of the Esk is the 
scene of Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd, (pp. 23, 66, 68.) 

Drummelzier (pa. 164), three miles S.E. of Broughton 
Station, has a pre-Reformation parish church. A thornbush 
near the churchyard marks the traditional burial-place of Merlin 
the Wizard, (pp. 14, 15, 17, 32, 33, 58, 85, 92, 95, "3, n6.) 

Eddleston (pa. 589) is a village 4^ miles N. of Peebles. 
In the neighbourhood is the beautiful cascade of Cowie's Lynn. 


West of the village stands Darnhall, the seat of the Murrays 
called formerly Halton,and afterwards Blackbarony. (pp. n, 58.) 

Innerleithen (2547), near the month of the Leithen 
Water, has large woollen mills. Long famous as a summer 
resort, it had, in the early part of last century, some renown as a 
watering-place. In early times the church of Innerleithen was 
dedicated to St Kentigern. Malcolm II bestowed upon it the 
right of sanctuary because the dead body of his son, who had 
been accidentally drowned in Tweed, had lain there one night 
before burial. The Carnegie Free Library is a building of Eliza- 
bethan design, (pp. 8, 1 1, 17, 32, 49, 61, 67, 118, 121.) 

Kirkurd (pa. 253), a village about nine miles N.W. of 
Peebles, (pp. 58, 66.) 

Lyne (P a - I2 5)> a hamlet on the left bank of Lyne Water 
beneath the southern slope of the plateau on which Lyne camp 
is situated. The neighbourhood is noted for its British forts, 
pre-historic remains, and the church built in 1644. The pulpit, 
presented by Lady Yester, is a highly finished piece of woodwork 
from Holland, (pp. 7, n, 33, 58, 66, 82, 83, 84, 88.) 

Lamancha, a small village in the parish of Newlands, used 
to be the seat of the Earls of Dundonald. (pp. 32, 106.) 

Manor (pa. 261) is a scattered hamlet in the valley of 
Manor Water. In the churchyard is the grave of the Black 
Dwarf, who lived in a cottage erected by himself near Wood- 
house farm. Posso near the south end of the valley is famous 
for its falcons. Hill forts are numerous. One, Macbeth's Castle, 
occupies a rocbe moutonnee in the middle of the valley. South 
of Posso Craig stood the parish church, known as St Gordian's 
Kirk, till about the year 1650. In 1874 a cross was erected 
by Sir James Naesmyth of Posso to mark the spot. Between 
St Gordian's Cross and Manorhead, a monumental cairn has been 
erected to the memory of Professor John Veitch "in his favourite 
valley." (pp. 7, n, 34, 38, 39, 4o, 4', 49, 58, 84, 113, 118.) 


Newlands (pa. 590), a hamlet between West Linton and 
Eddleston. (pp. 38, 58, 120.) 

Peebles (5554), the county town and an ancient royal burgh, 
was in existence before 1195. The old town lay north of the 
Tweed and west of Eddleston Water. The only part now re- 
maining stretches from Bigglesknowe to St Andrew's Tower. 

Queensberry Lodging as possessed by 'Old Q.' in the 
Eighteenth Century 

Purchased by William Chambers \ 85 7 

The old town was more than once burned by the English, and 
in the sixteenth century a new town sprang up along the high 
ridge extending from the site of the parish church to the East- 
gate. The new town was surrounded by a wall, a portion of 
which may still be seen on Venlaw Road. Peebles was a famous 
ecclesiastical centre till the Reformation, and a favourite residence 


of the Scottish Kings. David II granted it a charter in 1337, 
and probably David I had done the same. Bruce, having re- 
covered it from the English, demolished its Castle. After the 
Reformation a number of the nobility and gentry took up their 
residence in Peebles; but after the Union they left it for London. 
By the middle of the eighteenth century the spirit of commercial 
enterprise had awakened in the place, and since the introduction 
of the Tweed manufacture the town has steadily developed. 

In the year 1624 the building, afterwards known as the 
Queensberry Lodging, was presented by James VI to Lord Yester, 
ancestor of the Marquis of Tweeddale; and in 1687 became the 
property of the Duke of Queensberry. There is a current tradi- 
tion that "Old Q_" was born in the Queensberry Lodging. In 
1857 it was acquired by William Chambers, who presented it to 
his native town. By Chambers the building was entirely recon- 
structed with the exception of the vaulted ground-floor. Recently, 
through the munificence of Mr Andrew Carnegie, the Chambers 
Institution was reconstructed and extended. The new buildings, 
opened in 1912, comprise the Council Chambers, the Town Hall, 
the Library, the Museum, doubled in size, an Art Gallery and 
other accommodation. Peebles has also County Buildings, a fine 
specimen of Tudor design; a High School for Burgh and County; 
a Hydro ; and numerous churches. The old Cross, in High 
Street, has had an eventful history. There is a golf course, with 
a fine southern exposure, overlooking town and valley. 

The Burgh arms (see page 121) are three salmon naiant counter 
naiant, with the legend, Contra nando incrementum. It was a 
common jest in more convivial days, when the saying " Peebles 
for Pleesure" had its origin, to make them "three tumblers." 
(pp. i, 2, 14, 15, 17, 30, 33, 35, 61, 64, 67, 69, 74, 75, 76, 77, 
85. 87, 98, in, 112, 113, 115, 118, 120, i2i, 122, 127, 131, 
i3 2 , '34, 136.) 

Romanno Bridge, a hamlet in the parish of Newlands, 


has famous terraces ; whether made by the Britons, or the 
Romans, or the monks of Newbattle Abbey, is uncertain. Similar 
terraces occur on Roger's Crag, east of Halmyre. (pp.. 1 1, 13.) 

Stobo (pa. 350), a hamlet seven miles west of Peebles. The 
church, a Plebania or mother church in early times, is men- 
tioned in the Inquisition of David I as having belonged to Kenti- 
gern, and in the Peebles Burgh Records as "Saint Mungoy's Kirk 
of Stobo." John Reid of Stobo, churchman and notary, is one 
of the poets whom William Dunbar mourns for in his Lament for 
the Makaris: 

"And he [Death] has now tane, last of aw, 
Gud gentill Stobo et Quintyne Schaw, 
Of quham all wichtis hes pete : 
Timor Mortis conturbat me." 

(PP- i3, 17, 30, 40, 4.1, 44, 45, 59, 67, 85, 88, 106, 116.) 

Traquair (pa. 559), a well-known hamlet near the Quair 
Burn opposite to Innerleithen, is famous for its associations with 
Traquair House and for the song The Bush aboon 'Traquair. 
(pp. i, 8, 17, 18, 27, 33, 49, 58, 68, 76, 77, 85, 96, 101, 102, 
104, 105, 113, 126, 131.) 

Tweedsmuir (pa. 198) is a small hamlet in the upper 
reaches of the Tweed. The churchyard contains the grave of 
John Hunter, a martyr for the Covenant. In the neighbourhood 
is Oliver Castle, built about 1200, the home of the Erasers, 
(pp. 14, 15, 41, 58, 77, 84, 85, 136.) 

Walkerburn (1331), a village in the parish of Innerleithen, 
founded in 1855 by Henry Ballantyne, in whose memory the 
Ballantyne Memorial Institute was erected, 1903. On the face 
of Purvis Hill near Walkerburn is a range of terraces similar 
to those at Romanno. Opposite to Walkerburn is the Flora glen, 
in which Hogg's "Bonnie Kilmeny" was spirited away by the 
fairies, (pp. u, 32, 61, 107.) 


West Linton (pa. 1000) is a favourite summer resort for 
Edinburgh people, owing to its nearness (sixteen miles) to the 
capital and its healthy situation, 600 feet above sea-level. The 
parish church has fine wood-carving. Linton was the first 
known settlement of the Comyn family in Scotland. West 
Linton was formerly a burgh of regality, with a baron-bailie and 
a council of feuars, called the "Linton Lairds." One of these, 
Laird Gifford, was a noted local sculptor. The finial of the 
Jubilee clock, representing his wife, is his work. West Linton 
had become famous for its stone carvers from the time when the 
builders at Drochil Castle introduced their art to the village. 
(PP- 13, 23, 34, 35, 40, 49, 58, 66, 67.) 

Ashkirk (pa. 329), a village 5^ miles south of Selkirk. 

(pp. 8, 22, 58, III, 120.) 

Caddonfoot (pa. 709), a hamlet four miles south-west of 
Galashiels, is the scene of the old ballad Katharine Janfarie, 
which suggested Lochlnvar to Scott, (pp. 9, 18, 49, 58, 66, 113, 


Chapelhope is a small hamlet at the head of the Loch o' 
the Lowes. Near at hand is the statue to James Hogg, " the 
Ettrick Shepherd." Chapelhope was originally the site of Rodono 
Chapel, and there are traces of a mote on which the Bailies of 
Rodono dispensed justice on behalf of the Abbots of Melrose. 

Clovenfords, a small village in Caddonfoot parish, has 
memories of Scott, De Quincey, Leyden, and Wordsworth. 
In 1867 relics were discovered on Meigle Hill of an old military 
encampment, comprising scrap iron, broken blacksmith's tongs, 
and fragments of sheet bronze, (pp. 18, 59, 109.) 

Ettrick (pa. 344) consists of a church, a school, a manse 
and a churchyard. In the churchyard lie buried Boston; Hogg; 


Hogg's grandfather; " Will o' the Phaup," a noted athlete; Tibbie 
Shiel ; and Baron Napier of Ettrick. Hogg's birthplace, Ettrick- 
hall farm, is near the church, (pp. 19, 48, 58, 1 16, 117, 125, 136.) 

Galashiels (14,531), a parliamentary burgh, occupies i\ 
miles of the narrow valley of the Gala before its junction with 
the Tweed. In 1559 it was made a burgh of barony, having 
then only 400 inhabitants. Towards the end of the eighteenth 
century Galashiels according to Dorothy Wordsworth was a 
large irregularly built village, just beginning to assume a " townish 
bustle." It was at this time, during the Napoleonic Wars, that 
Galashiels got and took its opportunity to develop its trade. It is 
now the chief seat in Scotland of the Tweed manufacture. The 
rapid rise of the trade is marked by the fact that the annual 
value of its woollen manufactures rose from 1000 in 1790 to 
1,250,000 in 1890, when the population was 17,367. The trade 
depression that followed reduced the population in 1901 to 13,615, 
after which a revival began. The increased prosperity of the 
town has been shown not only by the growth of the population 
but also by the introduction of a costly drainage scheme, the 
erection of a Technical College, a handsome building of red 
sandstone in classic style, the opening of a new Secondary School, 
and the laying out of a new town square. The square includes 
a fountain with a shaft, surmounting the capital and frieze of 
which is a reproduction of the town's coat-of-arms a fox in the 
attempt to reach some pendent plums, with the legend, "Soor 
Plums." This is associated with a song the tune of which alone 
remains. The song, Sour Plums in Galashiels, commemorated a 
defeat inflicted by the natives on the English, who were regaling 
themselves with the wild plums which grew near the village. 
Another song connected with the town is Gala Water, on which 
Burns built his beautiful lyric with the refrain "Braw, Braw 
Lads." These words are appropriately inscribed on the base of 
the bronze bust of Burns at the foot of Lawyers Brae. 


Besides Tweed manufactures, Galashiels has dyeworks, iron 
foundries, engineering works, and boot factories, (pp. 5, 7, 9, 12, 
15, 27, 30, 44, 45, 5 2 , 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 66, 76, 77, 79, in, 

121, 122.) 

Kirkhope (pa. 384) consists of a manse, a farm steading, 
and the old tower of Kirkhope. (pp. 58, 95, 101, 128, 136.) 

Flodden Flag 

Selkirk (5886) is a royal burgh and the county town. 
Notable features are the Old Town Hall with its clock and spire, 
the statues of Sir Walter Scott and Mungo Park, the New Town 
Hall, the "Mercat" Cross, the Flodden Memorial. Selkirk 
Abbey, unfinished, and Selkirk Castle, the frequent abode of 
Scottish kings, date back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 
In 1418 the town was burned by the English. At Flodden 


Selkirk lost a large proportion of its burghers. Only one of 
the Selkirk contingent returned. He- is figured in the town's 
memorial of the battle, holding aloft in his hand an English 
pennon which the Selkirk men won from their foes (see page 73). 
A flag still preserved is, according to tradition, this very trophy. 
In 1640 Provost Muthag was slain while defending the burghlands 
from the aggressions of Ker of Brigheuch, a neighbouring laird. 
The town's war-song is 

"Up wi' the Souters o' Selkirk 
And down wi' the Earl o' Hume," 

the tune of which is peculiar in ending on the dominant seventh. 
The coat-of-arms of the Burgh is a female figure holding a 
child in her arms, supposed to be the Virgin and the Child, and 
most likely adopted from the seal of St Mary's Church of Selkirk. 
The shield with the lion rampant was added probably in the 
time of James V. The motto is: Et spreta incolumem vita defendere 
famam. (pp. 2,5, 42, 52, 58, 60, 64, 66, 73, 76, 77, 85, 90, 118, 

I2O, 121, 122, 126, 131, 132, 136.) 

Yarrow (pa. 510) consists of a church, a school, a police- 
station, and a group of houses by the roadside, (pp. 7, 8, 9, 20, 
33, 36, 49. 58, 67, 68, 71, 84, 89, 113, 115, 129, 131.) 

P. P. S. 10 


29,798 sq. miles 

(excluding water) 

<u IX 


Fig. i. Areas (excluding water) of Peebles (347 sq. miles) 
and Selkirk (267 sq. miles) compared with that of Scotland 




Fig. 2. Population of Peebles (15,258) and Selkirk (24,600) 
compared with that of Scotland in 1911 

M N ro ** 

08 CO 00 CO 




Fig. 3. Diagram showing increase in population in Peebles 
and Selkirk since 1801 

Selkirk 91 

Scotland 157 

Lanark 1633 Sutherland 10 

Fig. 4. Comparative Density of Population to the 

square mile in 1911 
(Each dot represents 10 persons) 



Other Crops 

& Bare Fallow (37 acres) 
44,784 acres 

Fig. 5. Proportionate area under Corn Crops compared with 
that of other cultivated land in Peebles and Selkirk in 

Fig. 6. Proportionate areas of chief cereals in Peebles 
and Selkirk in 1912 



Fig. 7. Proportionate areas of land in Peebles and 
Selkirk in 1912 

Fig. 8. Proportionate numbers of Live Stock in 
Peebles and Selkirk in 1912 






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Pringle, George C 
880 Peebles and Selkirk